FLATIRON – Restaurants are losing tens of thousands of dollars in the days following the steam pipe explosion in the neighborhood — an incident last week that sprayed asbestos throughout the area and forced dozens of buildings to evacuate.
Though many streets have reopened, others remain blocked off to pedestrian and vehicular traffic, all but cutting area restaurants off to viable business. Some restaurants haven’t been able to reopen, waiting on an alphabet soup of agencies including the DOH (Department of Health) and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to grant approval for business to start again.
According to Eater NY, even with the gradual reopenings, the area remains a mess, restaurateurs say. “The crater looks like a freaking meteor hit,” Paciullo of Zero Otto Nove says. Merakia’s Typaldos added that many people are power washing buildings, all the way up to the roof. “The block is a battle zone,” she says. “They’re letting residents and us come through, but they’re working like crazy.”