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Lights Are on at Prune. Is It Finally Reopening?

Plus, a family-run Rockaway restaurant rebuilds after a fire — and more intel

The grey doors that lead to Prune.
The exterior of Prune, the restaurant that closed in 2020.
Paul Crispin Quitoriano/Eater

Is chef Gabrielle Hamilton’s lauded Lower-East-Side Prune reopening after two-plus years of closure — or is something else debuting in the space? Lights were on for a private event at 54 East First Street between First and Second avenues at what had been Prune for 20 years, according to EV Grieve and fans are hopeful. A teaser on the website says to please check back for updates about a reopening. And Google still reads that Prune is “temporarily closed.”

Family-run Rockaway restaurant rebuilds after a fire

A family-run restaurant in a Rockaway trailer was gutted by fire and is struggling to rebuild, the Daily News reports. The fire on August 11 leveled CC Jerkbox, owned by Blaine Campbell whose wife Odell and their three children worked for the family business. The restaurant, known for its jerk chicken and pork, caught fire when the family was in Jamaica celebrating Campbell’s 50th birthday. Of his cooking, Campbell told the Daily News, “I’m cooking like you’re coming to my house. I put my passion into it.” Prior to opening a restaurant, he was a steamfitter with Local 638.

The business was housed in a trailer that neighborhood pizza maven Whit’s End gave him to use; after the fire, only a 20-foot storage container is salvageable. The fire department said the investigation is ongoing.

GoFundMe for the restaurant employee who was attacked and is in a coma

Gordo’s Cantina has started a GoFundMe to raise $8,000 for Jesus Cortes, an employee who was violently attacked in the Bronx on August 12, according to a criminal complaint, and left with a fractured skull. He has been in the hospital in a coma and has since been taken off the ventilator. “We get glimmers of hope that he will be getting better every day,” reads the GoFundMe page.

A Chinatown organic marketplace closes after a ten-year run

A Chinatown staple since 2010, Ali Baba Organic Marketplace at 1 Mott Street, is closing due to lost business caused by the pandemic, Bowery Boogie reports. The 24-hour grocery with a salad bar and organic produce was cited for not price gouging during the shutdown and beyond.

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