The team behind East Village comfort food favorite Pommes Frites is now just a few more weeks from opening in the new Greenwich Village location, says owner Omer Shorshi. The popular, decade-old French fry restaurant was destroyed in the Second Avenue explosion last March, and since then, Shorshi and co-owner Suzanne Levinson have been trying to get the things running in the new storefront at 128 MacDougal St.
It's taken a while for things to get going, Shorshi says. It took five months alone to get Department of Buildings approval for the storefront plan, and it only happened after Shorshi and Levinson walked into the commissioner's office in a moment of frustration. But once the commissioner heard about why the restaurateurs were moving in the first place, it was easier to get the approval, Shorshi says. "You mention the explosion, people start listening to you," Shorshi says. "Unfortunately, that's the way it works." Five people were arrested last month for setting up the illegal gas line that caused the explosion, which killed two people.
Shorshi is now anticipating an opening at some point in April, he says, pending completion and city approval of the ventilation system. Pommes Frites has also been approved for a beer and wine license, despite the initial opposition from the local community board. Due to building department regulations, the counter will have to be in the back of the store instead, Shorshi says, but ultimately, the new location will have space more seating and more deep fryers. "Hopefully, all the people don't have to wait in line as long," he says.