Updated 03/01/2013 04:20 PM
Red Hook Fairway Among Latest Sandy Damaged Stores To Return
Several stores in Brooklyn that have been closed since Sandy reopened their doors for the first time Friday including the Fairway in Red Hook, which was gutted after five feet of water flooded the store. NY1's Arlene Borenstein filed the following report.
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The wheels of Sandy recovery in Red Hook are turning and on Friday Fairway Market, a neighborhood cornerstone on Van Brunt Street, reopened with owners saying it's better than ever.
The storm-battered supermarket closed for four months.
"Everything wet. Equipment, refrigeration was ruined. Thirty days after that nothing in the store but clear walls," recalled Fairway Founder Howard Glickberg.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Senator Charles Schumer and other dignitaries attended a ribbon cutting for Fairway, calling it the reopening of a neighborhood.
"Today's opening ushers in a milestone in the neighborhood's physical, emotional economic recovery," Schumer said.
A line of residents formed hours before the food store opened. It was a show of support from residents, many of whom are still working through their own Sandy-related issues.
"My walls, the outside of housing projects got wet," said Mary Luz Gonzalez. "I'm only three blocks up and it's easier to walk here."
The warm welcome was returned by employees like seafood department employee Tomas Caceres who was happy to see old customers again.
"It's much better to be back over here in a neighborhood where everybody loves you, they know you," Caceres said.
And there's even more to look forward to.
Just down the street on Van Brunt, wine is flowing again at Red Hook winery and the latest catch is also now available at The Lobster Pound.
"Getting back to business is huge, it's big for us, it's big for Red Hook. We're really encouraging other businesses and we're trying to work together as a community because we've seen that's the most successful technique," said Red Hook Winery Owner Mark Snyder.
Back at Fairway, owners took hundreds of suggestions from customers and to welcome them back they've made wider lanes and added an extra aisle.