Pommes Frites was lucky enough to find a new home after the fry haven was destroyed during the deadly East Village explosion. But with all the destruction, lost business and expenses of starting from scratch, owners Suzanne Levinson and Omer Shorshi need some help, so they've turned to their loyal fans to help see them through to MacDougal Street.
The duo launched an Indiegogo today in the hopes of raising $64,000 in the next month and a half. “In our eyes, the biggest tragedy from that day in March was for the families who were impacted, and they are always in our prayers," says Levinson. “It was a much smaller loss that our restaurant had to close. The response we received from our customers and friends after that day was completely overwhelming, and we knew we had to find a way to involve them in our reopening."
The campaign has raised over $1,000 in just four hours, which bodes well for a successful acquisition of funding; they've selected a Flexible Funding campaign, so they'll get whatever donations have been made even if they don't reach their goal.
Meanwhile, nearby B&H Dairy has yet to reopen following the explosion, which forced the restaurant and others nearby to shut off their gas supply for safety reasons. Despite hope that they'd reopen, "navigating the alphabet soup of city agencies" has kept them shuttered for three months, according to Bowery Boogie. Owners Fawzy Abdelwahed and Ola Smigielska now must spend thousands more dollars upgrading their fire system, as new regulations in light of the explosion have made safety requirements more rigorous.