The family that owns the historic Coney Island pizzeria Totonno's had hoped to open by Christmas, but unfortunately that's not going to happen. Instead, they're now shooting for a mid-January opening. Serious Eats checks in on the progress at the Neptune Avenue icon, and, well, things aren't looking as good as they could.
Third-generation co-owner Antoinette Balzano estimates that the repairs to the restaurant?which took on four feet of floodwater?will cost around $100,000, which their insurance company is not going to cover. They've already been fleeced by one contractor who charged $6,000 to remove mold from the walls but half-assed it before taking off with the money. Another contractor, a self-proclaimed history buff, has come in to help restore the pizzeria to its previous, old-school greatness. Adding to the expense is the fact that much of the equipment purchased after the restaurant's devastating 2009 fire has to be replaced, again.
Balzano has applied for a $150,000 loan to cover the costs of rebuilding and reopening. The good news is that Totonno's is, in fact, coming back, doing so in a way that's honest to the 90-year-old institution's history.
· Restoring the Church of Pizza: the Rebuilding and Repairing of Totonno's After Hurricane Sandy [Serious Eats/Slice]
· All Coverage of Totonno's [~ENY~]