Governor, the acclaimed restaurant on the DUMBO waterfront that had been open a mere five months before Sandy’s waters flooded their space and destroyed their equipment, is no more.
Owners Tamer Hamawi, Elise Rosenberg, Emelie Kihlstrom, and Executive Chef Brad McDonald issued a statement on Friday, February 1 – first reported by Andrea Strong of The Strong Buzz – that the extensive damage and anticipated cost of repairs, plus existing debt from launching the business in the first place, was too much for them to overcome.
“In the aftermath of this dreadful storm, we assessed the destruction at Governor caused by five feet of water, and we were determined to rebuild our fledgling restaurant,” they wrote. “But despite our commitment and the subsequent and remarkable outpouring of support in all forms–from individuals, the restaurant industry and the community, we have, regrettably, been forced to accept that the scope and scale of repairing the damage to our restaurant is beyond our means financially. It is with a very heavy heart that we must humbly face up to this fact.”
The team went on to thank DUMBO, Brooklyn, and NYC residents for supporting them – raising over $50,000 through online and event fundraisers – stating that that it was “thoughtful and deeply touching.” Rebuilding costs are estimated to be between $300,000 to $350,000, said Hamawi to the New York Times.
Hamawi said that the donated funds will be returned.
Fans of the team’s (and McDonald’s) particular brand of fresh, local, homey, rustic and creative cuisine are encouraged to continue to frequent Colonie (127 Atlantic Avenue) in Brooklyn Heights and Gran Electrica (5 Front Street), also in DUMBO.
McDonald, formerly of Noma and Per Se, is now living in Kansas with his wife and two children, and will be pursing new projects.
This is the second Brooklyn business to close due to Sandy. The Park Slope branch of popular bakery, Almondine, closed in December, its 442 9th Street location put on the market.