Work is underway in an effort to reopen a historic East Village eatery that's still shut down in the wake of a fatal gas explosion. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following NY1 For You report.
There is good news for B&H Restaurant on Second Avenue between Seventh Street and Saint Mark's Place, which has been closed for business ever since the East Village gas explosion at the end of March.
"One hundred percent," said owner Fawzy Abdelwahad. "I feel relief. I feel like things are moving on."
Last week, we told you how the popular 1940s kosher vegetarian diner has yet to reopen its doors because subsequent city inspections determined gas couldn't be restored to the business until it's outfitted with a new fire system.
Abdelwahad contacted us, worried that he would go out of business for good waiting on city agencies to approve applications and conduct inspections.
"I still have to pay rent because I don't want to lose my lease," he said at the time. "And I don't know. I don't have any income, and I have a lot of bills to pay."
At the time, we contacted the mayor's office, and a spokesman said the city's Small Business Services was working closely with B&H to expedite the approval process with city agencies.
Now, a week later, Abdelwahad is relieved that work is finally getting underway and hopeful that he'll soon be able to get back to business.
"This has been very much quicker," he said. "What hadn't been done for a month, done in two days. And I have people working. Hopefully soon, we'll reopen."
We will keep you updated.