A broken water main and sinkhole on East Houston Street in Manhattan created havoc for Katz’s, the legendary deli that happened to be located almost right at the site of the problems. But despite three feet of mud in their basement and a huge loss of inventory, the restaurant remained open and the owner is looking on the bright side.
Third generation family owner Jake Dell emphasized that luckily, no pastrami or corned beef were harmed in the recent accident. But an unspecified amount of dry goods were destroyed when water leaked through the foundation.
“Dry goods, serving utensils, everything you need to run a store,” he said.”I also have five fridges and two freezers down there.”
“Any crack you didn’t think was there had water coming out. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” Dell told the Daily News. He added that the restaurant experienced only minor flooding during Superstorm Sandy, and remained open during that time.
Photos show a veritable river of brown water running down East Houston, turning Katz’s sidewalk into an island.
Other restaurants on the block weren’t as lucky, losing water service and inventory, and being forced to close.
“My job is to maintain tradition,” Dell reflected. “We’re part of the community, the Lower East Side, and we want to be here for them… I’m a little emotional at the response we’ve gotten from everyone. It’s been amazing.”