Landmark City Island Restaurant Burns Down During Storm
A beloved restaurant on City Island in the Bronx was a victim of Sandy, but due to a fire rather than the flooding. Borough reporter Erin Clarke filed the following report.
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City Islanders say Tony's Pier restaurant burned like a raging inferno.
"Flames 50 feet in the air," said an onlooker.
When the fire died down, an institution had burned to the ground.
"I got here and I saw this thing it just broke my heart," said a local. "I said, where am I going to go on Fridays? This is the spot. This is where we go."
Tony's Pier was where many New Yorkers went, making their way down to the end of City Island Avenue for fried shrimp platters, broiled lobster, steamers and crabs. It was popular with diners from far beyond City Island, who came back over the years.
"We've been coming here since we were children. It's always been a place that our parents took us," said a resident.
The current owners grew up there. Their father worked at Tony's in the 1950s and then became the owner. When he died in 1981, his children took it over.
By Tuesday, those memories were lost in the rubble, but Tony's patrons were confident that it will not be long before they're making new ones.
"One good thing about the Bronx and New York in general is that we always rebuild and we're resilient people," said a City Island resident.
People on and off the island rallied behind Tony's in hopes of getting the business back up and running.
"I will reach out to Governor Cuomo because he and President Obama committed themselves to helping out the State of New York," said Assemblyman Jose Rivera.
The island and state are full of residents eager to prove that they are not defeated by Sandy and its damage, and that strength will be needed in the days and weeks to come.