Rockaway Bagel Shop Close To Reopening With Help From Local Entrepreneur
Even months after Sandy hit, many businesses are still struggling to reopen -- but help from others in the community has helped one Queens bagel shop get closer to bringing customers back in. NY1's Arlene Borenstein filed the following report.
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The sound of drilling is what you hear now at Surfside Bagels on Rockaway Beach Boulevard near Beach 95th Street. The sound of coffee brewing hasn't been heard at the well-known bagel shop since it was shut down when Sandy hit.
"All of the equipment was soaked in water, was dislodged from where it would normally be and thrown about the store," Surfside Bagels co-owner Scott Edwards said. "Inside the store was soaked in water, equipment dislodged, thrown about the store."
Edwards, a firefighter with the FDNY as well as a co-owner of the shop, said the damage was so severe he didn't know where to start.
"The store needed to be completely gutted and rebuilt due to the amount of damage," he said.
But entrepreneur Joseph Scaretta came to the rescue. His company, Front Street Facility Solutions, donated money and resources to help reopen Surfside Bagels.
"At Surfside, they needed everything that we offered," Scaretta said. "From our expertise in equipment repairing, our different vendor networks, sub contractors that we work with and we were able to employ our management structure to help build back the location."
Edwards said about 350 people came through the doors of Surfside each day for coffee, bagels and sandwiches. And it's not just him feeling the pain, but his employees as well.
"Lost my house. Almost everything. Lost my car, I lost my job," employee and Rockaway resident Mario Escobar said.
But Edwards is looking out for his team and hopes to reopen in the next few weeks.
"Most importantly we want to get our employees back to work, return some normalcy to the neighborhood," Edwards said. "Let people get up in the morning, get their coffee, their bagel, go on to work."