Iconic New York City Restaurants Deeply Impacted by Hurricane Sandy

Leah Bourne

 Iconic New York City Restaurants Deeply Impacted by Hurricane SandyThe damage done by Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast is widespread—transportation systems and homes have been ravaged, and damage is being estimated at $20 billion. Another casualty is local New York City restaurants, many of which flooded during the storm and now face costly repairs before they will be able to reopen.
The River Café, founded in 1977, and which holds three stars from the New York Times and one star from the Michelin Guide is facing millions of dollars of damage according to its owner Michael O’Keefe. Water that rushed into the restaurant during the storm was at one point three or four feet deep throughout the dining room. Damage includes ruined floors, destroyed kitchen appliances and a damaged Steinway piano that was designed especially for the restaurant.
Tribeca Grill flooded according to its owner Drew Nieporent (who also owns Nobu). Joe Bastianich says that the power outages in his restaurants (which include Babbo and Eataly) will cost a small fortune—$50,000 to $70,000 at Del Posto alone. There is also damage at Tribeca favorites The Odeon and Bubby’s. Pasanella and Sons, a highly touted wine store facing the East River on South Street in the South Street Seaport area prepared heavily with sandbagging and canvas, but the ocean still came in. Who knows how long it will take to reopen.
Red Hook in Brooklyn, which boasts a burgeoning foodie scene, was deeply impacted by the storm. Susan Povich, co-owner of the Red Hook Lobster Pound, took to Twitter Tuesday morning to plead for help.”DO ANYOF (sic) OUR PATRONS OR FRIENDS HAVE A WALK IN FREEZER THAT IS WORKING AND HAS SPACE?” she asked. Povich continued, “We have about $65,000 worth of inventory. That’s a lot for a small business,” Povich said, adding that Red Hook Lobster supplies the new Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn, where the Brooklyn Nets basketball team plays. “Our generator was floating” amid flooding, she said.
On the other end of the spectrum restaurant chains including Boston Market, Starbucks, and Applebee’s are expected to see a boost in sales because of Sandy on the East Coast. With the resources to get up and running quicker than mom and pops (and also to provide transportation for employees to ensure they can get in to work) these businesses are poised to capitalize off of those without power eager for a hot meal and somewhere to go.