The owners of Governor, the acclaimed Dumbo restaurant that was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy, announce that they will not reopen the restaurant. Andrea Strong breaks the news. A statement sent to Strong from owners Elise Rosenberg, Emelie Kihlstrom, and Tamer Hamawi notes:
In the aftermath of this dreadful storm, we assessed the destruction at Governor caused by five feet of water, and we were determined to rebuild our fledgling restaurant. But despite our commitment and the subsequent and remarkable outpouring of support in all forms--from individuals, the restaurant industry and the community, we have, regrettably, been forced to accept that the scope and scale of repairing the damage to our restaurant is beyond our means financially.According to the statement, chef Brad McDonald has left the restaurant group to "spend time with his wife and two young children." He started at Colonie and helped the group open Gran Electrica, before opening Governor last summer.
This news comes as a huge shock, especially considering that the owners and chef McDonald repeatedly told the press about their plans to reopen as soon as possible. Several restaurants, including Momofuku, Eleven Madison Park, and Public, held fundraisers for Governor in the aftermath of the storm. The owners also set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for repairs (the page has been pulled, but the team raised about $40,000 in two months).
Eater reached out to the workers at sister establishment Colonie twice yesterday for more information, but nobody at the restaurant would comment on the situation at Governor. Emails to one of the owners and the restaurant group's PR company have not been returned. Two of the chefs that worked with McDonald at Governor are now in the kitchen at Calyer in Greenpoint.
UPDATE: Co-owner Elise Rosenberg writes in: "As for additional comments regarding the closing, we feel the statement issued to the Strong Buzz says it best." As Pete Wells points out, the last update on the Tumblr blog tracking the rebuilding process was a month ago.
UPDATE 2: The restaurant group writes in with a statement regarding the donations, which will be refunded.
· Governor Will NOT Reopen; Chef Brad McDonald To Pursue Other Ventures [Strong Buzz]
· All Coverage of Governor [~ENY~]
· All Coverage of Hurricane Sandy [~ENY~]