By Sabina Mollot
Frank’s Trattoria, the First Avenue restaurant and pizzeria that had been operating without gas for eight weeks, finally got it switched back on. The gas came back on last Wednesday afternoon, which meant that once again the owners, the Pino family, were able to make pizza and other foods that couldn’t be prepared efficiently using just electric stoves.
Restaurant manager Marcello Vasquez told Town & Village once the gas came back on at around 2 p.m. word quickly got around and the restaurant got busy again.
“We’ve got our pizza back and we’re very busy. A lot of people ordering. Everything’s okay,” Vazquez said. He suspected business would pick up further for deliveries thanks to the blizzard, he also told T&V early last Thursday.
As Town & Village previously reported, Vazquez had said he didn’t even know how much money the restaurant, which has been in the neighborhood for 50 years, had lost as a result of the gas shutoff. Con Ed had said the shutoff was due to safety issues, and there had been a gas leak in the area in mid-December that impacted the restaurant.
But according to Vazquez, the utility as well as the Department of Buildings then had the restaurant’s Spanish immigrant owners drowning in so much paperwork prior to and after various inspections that they ended up needing an attorney just to cut through all the red tape. It was only after a few loyal customers contacted the media when the process suddenly got resolved.