In the wake of the East Village gas explosion, one historic small business that's still shut down is on the brink of going out of business for good. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following report.
Beloved B&H Restaurant on Second Avenue between Seventh Street and Saint Mark's Place has been closed for business ever since the East Village gas explosion at the end of March.
"I'm a third victim of the explosion," says Fawzy Abdelwahad, the owner of B&H Dairy.
While the majority of the existing businesses on the block are back up and running, the 1940s kosher vegetarian diner has yet to reopen its doors. That's because subsequent city inspections determined gas can't be restored to the business until it's outfitted with a new fire system.
In the meantime, Abdelwahad says he's trapped waiting on city agencies to approve applications and conduct inspections.
"The process takes so long for me," he says.
Abdelwahad says he can't collect insurance since the explosion wasn't at his building. In the meantime, he's racking up expenses.
"I still have to pay rent because I don't want to lose my lease," he says. "And I don't know. I don't have any income and I have a lot of bills to pay."
Including $28,000 for the new fire system.
Abdelwahad says as each day passes, he's losing hope that his business will survive.
"We are not trying to get rich. We're trying to survive and have the operation run," he says.
NY1 for You contacted the Mayor's Office, and a spokesman told us the city's Small Business Services has been working closely with B&H to expedite the approval process with city agencies. Hopefully, it will happen soon enough to save this East Village institution.