But for one Greenport business, tragedy turned to triumph when the former Butta Cakes, a cupcake shop, was transformed after renovation from damages into today's popular Lucharitos, which specializes in tacos, nachos, margaritas, and more.
"The hurricane destroyed our floors and most of our electrical equipment," said owner Marc LaMaina. "When I walked into the shop after the storm," he said, he was devastated by the extent of the damage. "A quarter inch of sea dirt was left after the water went back in to the bay, 26 inches of water to be exact. We had to gut the entire front of the house and the entire floor."
LaMaina added, "It was like someone literally cut the passion out of me. After dealing with a couple of Bridezillas over the summer and then this, I was done with baking. I was done with cupcakes. My concept was to change to simple, fresh and easily executed food and start serving some affordable great drinks. To see something you sunk your 401k and your personal savings into for the past five years just gone, it was heartbreaking."
But his mother, LaMaina said, reminded him of a poem by My mom reminded me of a poem from Rudyard Kipling: "If you can dream, and not make dreams your master; If you can think, and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with triumph and disaster, And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken, Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools."
The poem inspired. "So thats what we did," LaMaina said. "My closest friends and family all helped tremendously. And two and a half months later we opened as Lucharitos. The 'little fighter'. That's what we are and we are doing amazing after the change. I could not be happier with the feedback and the locals' newfound love for this concept. We are looking forward to an exciting future."
Sandy, he said, "was a blessing in disguise for me personally. We took the lemons and made duck nachos."The business took off over the summer season, and has since hosted a series of promotions, engaging the community even in the off season, such as last Friday's zombie party.
Lucharitos is located at 119 Main Street in Greenport. Call 631-477-6666.