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Tale of two Bronx eateries following Superstorm Sandy

Bronx Times

Hurricane Sandy did her physical worst on some popular Bronx restaurants, while hitting a number of others in the cash register.

The Bruckner Bar & Grill, a popular spot for locals in the trendy southern tip of the borough near the Third Avenue Bridge, bore the brunt of Sandy’s fury, suffering a deluge of water from the Harlem River.

But The Clock Bar just up the block was left unscathed, since its entrance is three steps up.

“The Bruckner is part of our neighborhood and we want to get them up and running,” said Michael Brady, The Clock’s general manager.

Besides fundraisers, out-of-work Bruckner staffers will have jobs with The Clock’s catering business.

“We’re one big community so we’re in it together,” said Brady.

But some borough restaurants suffered a great loss of business following Sandy, particularly on City Island.

The Lobster House is back in business, but the clients aren’t, said Regina Rodriguez, speaking for owner Jojo Mandarino.

“There’s no gas anymore,” said Rodriguez. “That seems to be a major issue because coming to City Island you need a car.”

Adding to the eatery’s woes was the destruction of Larry the Lobster, the enormous shellhead sign atop the roof. Sandy’s howling winds sent it crashing into the roof.

“We had to chop him up,” noted Rodriguez.

At the Seashore Restaurant & Marina just down the street, manager John Arminio estimated he suffered a 75% drop in businesses following Sandy and the gas crisis. “It’s decimated the business,” said Arminio, adding much of his customer base hails from outside the borough, with some spending an hour and a half to get to the cozy spot.

“I’m just hoping the gas shortage will subside,” said Arminio.

Back at The Clock, owners are seeing a wave of success thanks to Savor the Bronx! Restaurant Week, where 35 restaurants signed on to the 12-day event running through November 16th.

Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. refused to call Restaurant Week off, calling it “good morale” for small-time eateries.

“The businesses have not had any traffic for almost a week or so,” said Diaz. “We need to keep things going.”

The event is sponsored by American Express and the New York State Restaurant Association, along with The Bronx Tourism Council and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation.

For a full list of the 35 restaurants go to savorthebronx.com.

Reach reporter David Cruz at 718-742-3383.

David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at DCruz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383

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