Streams

Symbol of Post-Sandy Hope Shutting Down

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Five-and-a-half months after Sandy, when Gigi finally re-opened her burger and seafood restaurant at a temporary location in a different part of town, it was a scene of celebration. Jakeabob’s Bay – named after Gigi’s sons Jake and Bobby – was a small sign of rebirth in Union Beach, a devastated community that desperately needed whatever good news it could get.  For Gigi, it was just great to be back at work. (:27)
GIGI AX1: It feels like home in here! To hear the dishwasher going… You hear it? Can you hear it in the background? [CLATTER] All the dishes clacking? That to me is… That’s good… That’s good… (:11)
GURIAN TX2: But things just weren’t the same. It was a slow summer, and even by last fall, she said business still hadn’t picked up. (:09)
GIGI AX2: You know, I thought that perhaps it was quieter because the location, people wanted to sit on the water. The reality is, is that there are not a lot of people back in town. (:09)
GURIAN TX3: Gigi had hoped to stay in business at this other location while she continues fighting with her insurance company to get the money she needs to rebuild at the original site.  But a year later, her lease has come up for renewal, forcing her to crunch the numbers and make a tough decision. (:17)
GIGI AX3 (PHONE): You have to come to terms with when you cut your ties and you have to figure out something else. (:06)
GURIAN TX4: So at the end of the month, Jakeabob’s will close its doors, and Gigi will go back to playing the waiting game full time. She’s waiting both for her lawsuit against her insurance company to wind its way through the courts and also hoping she gets approved for a loan from the Small Business Administration so she can move ahead with reconstruction. (:21)
GIGI AX4 (PHONE): It’s difficult. I feel like it’s an endless spin cycle. And I’m tired. I want out. I want to start building. (:10)
GURIAN TX5:  She says she has architectural plans all drawn up and is ready to start work, as soon as she gets the money. In the meantime, her regular patrons are planning a farewell party for March 30th, and a number of fundraisers are in the works.

Five-and-a-half months after Sandy, when Gigi Liaguno-Dorr finally re-opened her burger and seafood restaurant at a temporary location in a different part of town, it was a scene of celebration. Jakeabob’s Bay — named after Gigi’s sons Jake and Bobby — was a small sign of rebirth in Union Beach, a devastated community that desperately needed whatever good news it could get. For Gigi, it was just great to be back at work

But things just weren’t the same. It was a slow summer. And then, by last fall, she said business still hadn’t picked up.

"I thought that perhaps it was quieter because the location, people wanted to sit on the water. The reality is, is that there are not a lot of people back in town," she said.

Gigi had hoped to stay in business at the new location while she continued fighting with her insurance company to get the money she needs to rebuild at the original site. But a year later, her lease has come up for renewal, forcing her to crunch the numbers and make a tough decision.

"You have to come to terms with when you cut your ties and you have to figure out something else," said Gigi.

So at the end of the month, Jakeabob’s will close its doors, and Gigi will go back to playing the waiting game full time. She’s waiting both for her lawsuit against her insurance company to wind its way through the courts and also hoping she gets approved for a loan from the Small Business Administration so she can move ahead with reconstruction.

"It’s difficult. I feel like it’s an endless spin cycle. And I’m tired. I want out. I want to start building," she said.

Gigi said she has architectural plans all drawn up and is ready to start work, as soon as she gets the money. In the meantime, her regular patrons are planning a farewell party for March 30, and a number of fundraisers are in the works.

Tags:

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.

Sponsored