Major reopening alert: Pommes Frites is back. After months of delays, the popular East Village French fry counter that was destroyed in the Second Avenue gas explosion reopened TODAY at its new location in Greenwich Village. The owners announced the grand opening plans on Sunday night. The new outpost at 128 MacDougal St. features more seating and more deep fryers than the old one, co-owner Omer Shorshi said. It means the signature fry counter will be in the back of the restaurant instead, though the extra equipment will also hopefully mean shorter lines.
The restaurant opened at 11 a.m. on Monday, but Shorshi and co-owner Suzanne Levinson wrote on Facebook that they will be running with limited staff and limited hours for the time being. "Please bare with us as we organize ourselves; and smooth out the kinks for the next two weeks," they write. "Thank you so much for your patience once again!" Pommes Frites voicemail warns that the limited hours may be in the evening, meaning it may be a couple weeks before the fry haven returns to form as a late night destination.
The decade-old French fry restaurant closed last March after the Second Avenue explosion destroyed the building. Two people died from the incident, and earlier this year, authorities arrested five people for setting up the illegal gas line that caused it. Getting things going again took months, Shorshi has told Eater, and eventually, the Department of Buildings approved the new storefront plan after he and Levinson walked into the commissioner's office and mentioned the explosion. Still, in an interview with the Times, Levinson says she never mourned the loss of the business. "When I think about what happened to us, I don't think about us," she says. "I think about what happened to the young men [who died]."