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Monday’s Neighborhood: Help Restore Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York

This week’s neighborhood of the week exemplifies the meaning of a neighborhood– where strangers come together to help one another in tines of trouble. Brooklyn is full of many impressive restaurant and bar-rich neighborhoods, many of which have been greatly affected by Hurricane Sandy, along with so many other neighborhoods of New York City and the East Coast.

From the café and bar Fort Defiance to the production kitchen for the acclaimed Montréal style deli and bakery Mile High Kitchen, nearly every restaurant, bar, store, and café has been affected by storm damage. In many cases, the businesses have been shut down altogether. The area still, two weeks later, is without power.

Right along the East River by the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, just west of Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, and south of the tip of Lower Manhattan, Red Hook was in a particularly vulnerable spot for the surging surf from the storm.

Red Hook isn’t backing down in the face of the storm damage. Grubstreet estimates that most businesses need at least $50,000 in recovery costs and almost none of the businesses are covered by insurance. The small business owners have come together to meet this challenge by creating the fundraising group, Restore Red Hook.

Red Hook is a very special food neighborhood, one that we need to get back on its feet. The Red Hook Lobster Pound is the closest you’ll get to the Maine seashore in New York. One of New York’s leading pizzerias, Lucali, calls Red Hook home. So does Befonte’s Deli and its’ well-regarded sandwiches, and the new Brooklyn branch of Portland transplant Andy Ricker’s exceptional Pok Pok. Speaking of Portland, Stumptown Coffee roasts its beans for the East Coast here. Sunny’s is the classic watering hole. One of the city’s craft brewers, Six Points, has its brewery here.

And that’s skimming the surface of the neighborhood’s establishments…along with the wealth of choices in the adjacent neighborhoods.

Please help restore these hard-working businesses in this very unfortunate time of crisis for them. Red Hook– we’re all rooting for you!

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