Passing by Moishe’s Bake Shop this week, we were delighted to see that after a few months of going relatively incognito, the East Village institution has finally gotten a new sign. But we couldn’t help but wonder, as fans of such things, about its lovably dilapidated original signage. Is it now in safe keeping, a la Kim’s Video? We asked owner Moishe Perlmutter, who told us the last thing we wanted to hear.
East Village explosion
A little over two months after the Second Avenue gas explosion, local politicians and a small group of community members toured the still-smarting small businesses around the blast site.
The three points of the East Village’s “Brewmuda Triangle,” Standings, Burp Castle and Jimmy’s No. 43, have all announced they are open tonight after a 15-day closure due to the Second Avenue gas explosion that destroyed three buildings, including the one right next to the three bars.
Small businesses have been hit hard in the wake of the East Village explosion, so residents have conjured up a Small Biz Crawl in order to help. All walks of life are welcome to join the #SaveNYC movement at noon this Saturday, April 11, to visit the beloved establishments most affected by the explosion.
Participants will gather at Gem Spa, which has served the neighborhood since 1957, on the corner of Second Avenue and St. Marks Place, and then head to Himalayan Visions, a family-run shop selling an array of trinkets from jewelry to meditation supplies. A lunch break will follow, at B&H Dairy or Paul’s Da Burger Joint. With full bellies, the group will meander toward New Yorkers Market, to stock up on groceries for the week.
This morning, outside of a shuttered B&H Dairy, owner Fawzy Abdelwahad stood waiting for Con Ed inspectors who were due to check his gas line. Since an explosion leveled three buildings a few doors down from him last week, he’s been working with various city agencies and his insurance company to reopen his 73-year-old diner and keep his business from going under.
Abdelwahad, who has owned B&H for 13 years, said that with taxes, rent, insurance, labor, food, and supplies, his expenses run between $30,000 to $40,000 a month. He has no savings and no personal assets to leverage in order to support the business. “If it’s going to be like this for a while,” he said, waving at the darkened diner, “we could be out of business like, 1-2-3.” He estimated that it would not be able to survive more than a three-week closure. “I love it, of course,” he said of the greasy spoon. “It’s like my son, one of my children, my family.”