Famed Dumbo eatery The River Cafe got walloped by Hurricane Sandy, and it's been mostly closed ever since. But finally, it has returned—it will open for dinner service tonight for the first time since October 2012.
The 30-plus-year-old restaurant suffered serious damage during the hurricane, with four feet of water flooding the establishment and forcing owner Michael “Buzzy” O’Keeffe to dip into his savings for a multimillion dollar renovation. He installed a new kitchen, "hurricane-proof"ed the space, bough new tables and chairs and replaced the restaurant's iconic piano, which was destroyed in the storm, in addition to other repairs. "I didn’t realize how much damage salt water would do," O'Keeffe told the Daily News earlier this week.
Though tonight marks the restaurant's first return to full dinner service, it isn't the first time the River Cafe has opened its doors since the storm. The restaurant served New Year's Day brunch this year, and its private event space has been open for a few months now. And if you haven't yet reserved a table for dinner, you may be out of luck; judging by the restaurant's OpenTable site, the place is booked up through early March.