A Look At The State Of Post-Sandy Lunching In The FiDi

I only just got back to working in my company’s office in the Financial District on Wednesday of last week after not being there since Oct. 25. Like many of you, our phone lines were fried and Internet service and electricity were slow to return. However, after walking around in the lower-lying sections of the neighborhood on Friday, it was amazing how much changed from block to block. Instead of office workers scurrying back to the office on Water St. below Maiden Lane, there was the constant hum of generators, streets lined with disaster recovery vehicles and construction workers wearing hardhats and reflective gear. Food carts and trucks remain the only options in some areas.

The lower part of Maiden Lane, home to what I call “Chain Row,” for its selection of quick-service lunch chain options, was wiped out. There were construction workers in the Au Bon Pain scraping lettering off the windows amid a sea of broken glass on the floor. Chipotle, Just Salad, Potbelly, Goodburger, Pret and Hot Clay Oven are all still closed and looked like they were badly flooded. Those around the corner on Pearl St. (Yushi, Chop’t, Dig Inn, Shinju Sushi) were also shuttered, although Niko Niko was open thanks to its second-floor location.

Other areas are more spotty. The restaurants at the lower end of Pearl St. like Zigolini’s and FIKA were closed when I walked by, but a block up all of the bars on Stone St. and eateries like Burger Burger, and Ruben’s Empanadas were open as were those off of Hanover Square. (Yes, you can still get your Korean food fix at Cafe Hanover). I also spotted the Ambizza Cafe truck amid all of the construction and relief vehicles parked at Old Slip between Front & Water, although the Banh Mi Cart was MIA at Hanover & Pearl. Many of the food trucks have been unable to park in their normal spots on Front St., Broad St., Old Slip and Hanover Sq. because they’re full of vehicles being used to fix the storm damage.

There was also good news Friday from some of the eateries at the South St. Seaport, which as you can imagine took on a lot of water. Some are raised above sidewalk level, however, which helped minimize flooding. Jeremy’s Ale House is open for business, as you can see from the handwritten sign I spotted on Fulton St. Made Fresh Daily has reopened and although Barbarini Mercado is not, they are selling things at the New Amsterdam Market on Sundays. You can find updated information on the opening status of Seaport businesses on the market’s Web site.

Also, while I was writing this up, the one question that lingered in my mind was whether the bras adorning the walls and ceiling at Jeremy’s survived. It would be a sad day indeed if they didn’t.

Hopefully all of your favorite lunch spots will be back in operation in a month, but in the meantime, you can always go get lunch from one of the many great food carts and trucks in the FiDi.


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