DANVERS — The line at Betty Ann’s Sandwich Shop never seemed to shorten as owner Peter Rakip and his crew plowed through nonstop orders during lunch time of their first day back in business Friday.

“It’s been absolutely crazy,” Rakip said in between making sandwiches.

The new space at 20 Locust St. is bigger and brighter than Betty Ann’s old storefront on the corner of Hobart Street, which was torn down along with a dozen other properties this fall to make way for the new Maple Street Mixed Use Development.

The shop’s old signs are displayed on the wall next to the cash register, and an old-time wooden cash register sits on the counter with a sandwich-shaped dog toy on top not too far from where Rakip makes his subs.

“It’s strange because we’re not bumping into each other like we were for all these years,” Rakip said. “It’s been fantastic.”

One thing that hasn’t changed: How much customers love Rakip and his food.

“Pete’s a great guy. He’s a hard worker, the type of guy you want for a friend,” said Wayne Smith, a lifelong Danvers resident who’s gone to Betty Ann’s for 60 of the 72 years it’s been open.

Smith chatted up Rakip while waiting for his sandwich, as did other customers who were eager for their usual order. Mainly, the shop’s famous Italian or tuna fish subs.

“Tuna subs are a hard thing to get good somewhere,” 20-year-long customer Tony Lombardi said while waiting in line. “Usually, I have to go and be like, ‘Can I look at your tuna before I order it?’ Here, I don’t have to worry about that.”

Jayne Gordon came from Peabody to have lunch with her friend Donna Greenberg on Betty Ann’s patio before heading out to the Danvers Rail Trail.

“It’s good quality food and you know, you can’t get that everywhere,” Gordon said.

Danvers High School graduate Maria Campaniello agreed. While she lives in Medford now and works for a Boston-based nonprofit, a homecoming to Danvers often includes a stop at Betty Ann’s.

“It’s a community thing,” Campaniello said. “When they said they were going to reopen, it was such a fun, exciting thing to look forward to.”

She ate a chicken salad sandwich on the shop’s patio with Will Robbins, a Danvers Town Hall employee whose Friday lunch break marked his first visit to Betty Ann’s.

Robbins’ opinion of his Italian sub with everything on it: “Pretty solid,” he said.

Contact Caroline Enos at CEnos@northofboston.com{/em} and follow her on Twitter @CarolineEnos.

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