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Trio Involved in Deadly East Village Restaurant Explosion Will Go to Prison

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The 2015 explosion killed two people and leveled the corner of Second Avenue and East 7th Street

The exterior of restaurant Pommes Frites. A man is sitting on a bench in front of it eating, another man is walking by.
The property before it was leveled in the 2015 explosion
Scott Binter/PropertyShark

Three sentenced in East Village explosion that destroyed Pommes Frites, Sushi Park

There’s finally some justice in the deadly 2015 East Village explosion that destroyed restaurants Sushi Park and Pommes Frites, killed two people, and injured several others. Building landlord Maria Hrynenko, plumber Athanasios Ioannidis, and contractor Dilber Kukic will all serve between four to 12 years in prison for illegally installing a gas line at 121 Second Avenue, at East 7th Street, which led to the explosion and the collapse of two buildings.

The trio were charged for manslaughter and assault and will serve their sentence in state prison. Hrynenko’s son was also charged in the explosion but died awaiting trial. The East Village explosion occurred just a year after a gas explosion leveled two buildings in East Harlem. In the East Village, investigators found that Hrynenko illegally siphoned gas from the adjacent building at 119 Second Avenue to her tenants at 121 Second Avenue. On the day of the explosion, Consolidated Edison inspectors had come to look at the building but found no leak because the contractor and plumber had turned off the supply just before the inspectors showed up. They turned it on again as soon as they left and fled the building — that’s what ultimately caused the inferno.

Sushi Park never re-opened following the explosion, but Pommes Frites secured a new location in Greenwich Village a year later. One of the explosion sites now has a condo building rising on it.

In other news:

— Pizza mavens Matt and Emily Hyland’s Clinton Hill restaurant Emily turns six today and to celebrate the restaurant is offering every table a free serving of its sleeper hit burger on a first come first serve basis tonight. The restaurant is open from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m.

— East Village rice noodle hot spot Little Tong Noodle Shop is collaborating with Jewish appetizing shop Shelsky’s of Brooklyn to create dishes inspired by each others cuisines. Little Tong serves a lamb meatball dish from the Shaanxi region of China paired with a bagel; and Shelsky’s offers a Jewish take on guo kui, a meat-stuffed flatbread that’s a popular street food item in Chengdu, China. The dishes will be available at the respective shops until February 8.

— The owner of Bronx seafood restaurant Millie Peartree Fish Fry & Soul Food — which closed because its gas supply was turned off — is looking to open in a new location in the spring.

— Popular NYC Asian restaurants Kopitiam, Bessou, and Van Da are teaming up for a six-course, one-night-only tasting menu to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The dinner will take place on February 2 and tickets costs $188.

— WNYC’s Arun Venugopal, Eater NY editor Serena Dai and senior critic Robert Sietsema will discuss NYC’s Chinese food scene and consider whether it’s the best outside of China along with Xi’an Famous Foods’s Jason Wang and Mala Project’s Amelie Kang. The event takes place on January 23 at 7 p.m. and tickets costs $20.

— Despite a no-waste pledge, Starbucks is still throwing away food at the end of the night, according to a New York Post investigation.

— Heading into the week like: