Post-Sandy Restaurant Recovery Stories: East Village’s Dirt Candy Is Open

Come down to Dirt Candy for Chef Amanda Cohen’s Portobello Mousse with Pear and Fennel Compote + other delicious dishes!

Restaurant Name: Dirt Candy
Location: East Village
Years in business: Four
Status: Fully open and operational.
Damage: None to restaurant; flood damage at storage space for online store.
Losses: Entire food inventory; five days of service.
Owner: Chef Amanda Cohen

Prior to Sandy, had you ever had to deal with a disaster situation at this or any restaurant?

For Irene, we closed for that night, but it was one evening, and it really wasn’t a disaster.There’s been nothing like this.

When did you shut the doors to prepare for the storm?

On Sunday, we came in and prepared. We weren’t sure that we wouldn’t be able to reopen on Tuesday, so on Monday, we actually took in product orders. We  thought that the worst case might be that if we couldn’t reopen Tuesday, we’d be back by Wednesday. We wanted to be be prepared.

When did you first go back to the restaurant and realize the extent of the losses?

On Tuesday, we walked down here. I live about 20 blocks away, so it wasn’t a big deal. Obviously, we realized right away that we didn’t have power. We didn’t touch anything, hoping that the refrigerator would stay cool enough, the freezer would stay frozen, and we wouldn’t have massive losses. But, by Wednesday, following up with Con Ed and  listening to all the news conferences, we realized the earliest we could possibly get power would be Friday. At that moment, we knew there was just no way we could save anything. So, Thursday morning, we came down and threw out everything that was in the restaurant.

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