NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A popular eatery destroyed by a fatal gas explosion in the East Village 14 months ago is back in business.
Pommes Frites served up Belgian-style French fries and 30 different specialty sauces at 123 Second Ave. for nearly 20 years. On March 25, 2015, it was destroyed in an explosion and fire that leveled three buildings and killed two men in a neighboring sushi restaurant.
The restaurant reopened Monday in its new location on MacDougal Street near New York University in the West Village.
Co-owner Omer Shorshi wasn’t sure this day would come.
“A week ago I was still fighting with plumbers,” he told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck.
Shorshi said he’s been overwhelmed by the support of his loyal customers, who donated tens of thousands of dollars to help Pommes Frites get back into business.
“Our customers were so great and generous,” Shorshi said. “It’s not only from New York City, people from all over the world.”
PHOTOS: East Village Explosion
Shorshi said there’s not one day will go by where he doesn’t think about those killed in the blast.
“It’s always in our minds,” he said.
“We’re insignificant compared to what happened that day and I pray for everyone who suffered through that tragedy,” co-owner Suzanne Levinson told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.
In February, five people, including the building owner, were indicted on manslaughter and other charges in connection with the blast.