While Hurricane Sandy feels like the distant past for most of the East Village, there are some businesses that are still feeling a little, shall we say, under the weather. And none has felt the hit more keenly than the Sunburnt Cow, whose tribulations lately must make that ol’ sunburn feel like a breeze.
The beloved Aussie-run drunk brunch spot — known for its oversized bevvies, frat-bro crowd and “hot Aussie waiters,” according to more than one Yelp review — has been operating with restricted hours since it got walloped by Sandy in the fall, and continues to be plagued by difficulties even nearly ten months after the fact.
“One of the bathrooms fell in just last week,” said owner Heath St. Clair. “It’s lucky no one was in there.”
The Cow will celebrate its ten-month anniversary in a more subdued manner than it did when it turned five and roasted a whole cow out front. There’ll be an endless brunch (not actually endless, St. Clair is quick to clarify) every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through September, at the original decade-ago price of $18 to $23 per person. Ah yes, a return to the quaint, pre-gentrification East Village of yore!
While the Cow has been open for brunch and on weekend evenings, they have yet to restore weekday service. Manager Matilda Boland explained that when Con-Ed restored power to the East Village post-Sandy, “the whole building blew.”
“We were closed for about three months and had to rewire the whole building,” said Boland. “We lost a lot of equipment and storage space; the basement hasn’t been rebuilt yet so honestly it’s been a little bit of a disaster. We’ve just been trying to stay afloat.”
“It was about a quarter of a million dollars in damage,” added St. Clair. “All my equipment was in the basement.” While St. Clair had been trying to sell the Cow before Sandy hit, his ambitions lately have been contained to repairing the damage. And by the sounds of things, it might be quite some time before the Cow re-opens fully.
“I kind of feel like we’re jinxing it by giving it a date,” said Boland of their eventual return to full service.
St. Clair was less diplomatic. “Maybe never,” he said.
But you can still show Bessie some love on the weekends. An e-mail announcing the anniversary specials reads, “We hope our month long celebration will give friends and family of The Sunburnt Cow time to come by to reminisce the old times, let us say thanks for your support and enjoy a drink on the patio.”