Success Stories

Suzanne Levinson & Omer Shorshi -
Pommes Frites

When a devastating explosion threatened beloved restaurant Pommes Frites, Renaissance was there to help the owners successfully relaunch.

Pommes Frites was a fixture in Manhattan’s East Village for nearly 20 years before a terrible explosion and fire almost destroyed this beloved New York City independent business. The Belgian-style fry restaurant was one of several local establishments decimated by the tragic events that took place March 26, 2015.

In the aftermath of the explosion, Renaissance Economic Development Corp. (REDC) stepped in to create the East Village Explosion Recovery Loan Program. Pommes Frites was one of five small businesses that received emergency, low-interest loans through the program. In 2016, co-owners Suzanne Levinson and Omer Shorshi proudly re-opened their restaurant in a new location, in Manhattan’s West Village. The relaunched spot on MacDougal Street is larger and boasts a larger staff, but retained the homey, cozy feel of the original hole-in-the-wall business.

Upon reopening, Shorshi said, “It’s like we just picked up where we left off, it really feels that way. It’s been a rough 14 months but we got here and we’re delighted to be here.”