Pet grooming boutique "The Salty Paw" had its grand reopening Saturday after its owner had to make some big changes to hurricane-proof the space. NY1's Bree Driscoll filed the following report.
There were high fives from Goose, kisses from Merlin, and a seal of approval from Clancy as the Salty Paw dog spa at the South Street Seaport made its grand reopening Saturday.
"Merlin is a longtime customer of The Salty Paw," said customer Matthew Rosenstein. "He gets his grooming here, he gets his supplies here, and we are thrilled for Amanda that she's open again."
"It's so fantastic to have stuff reopen in the neighborhood where so much stuff hasn't reopened," said customer Zesty Meyers.
Eleven months ago, the store was filled with 11 feet of water as Hurricane Sandy tore through the neighborhood.
"I was wading through collars and cat food cans floating out to sea," said Amanda Zink, the owner of The Salty Paw.
NY1 caught up with Zink in January as she walked through her empty store, and again in April, when she opened a temporary pop-up shop. Back then, she was already planning to rebuild, but this time, her shop has some unique features.
"We did 48 inches high on the outlets," she said. "We built everything from scratch that can be removed, so every fixture here is removable. So that way, I can back up a U-Haul next time, hopefully there's not a next time, and load everything and try and save as much as I can."
While the store was closed, Zink used social media like Facebook and Twitter to keep in contact with her customers. She felt it was important to tell her story and reassure them that she was reopening.
"In fact, I think we picked up more clients, even though we were closed, just through our journey through this whole social networking," Zink said.
Zink remains optimistic that business will boom, even though many other neighborhood shops remain closed and foot traffic isn't what it used to be.
"I can proudly say that I didn't give up and I'm back," she said.
Zink hopes to stay for a long time to come.