Nassau County

Beloved LI Flower Shop Gutted by Fire Reopens in Empty Restaurant Dining Room

NBC Universal, Inc.

Two weeks after a fire gutted a beloved Long Island flower shop, the business has managed to reopen -- turning a nearby restaurant's dining room into its gallery and the kitchen into a design studio.

The Nov. 13 blaze in Freeport injured multiple firefighters and destroyed Duryea's, a local fixture on Guy Lombardo Avenue since the 1930s.

An explosion rocked a neighborhood on Long Island shortly after midnight, leaving at least one person injured and causing a fire that spread to nearby buildings. NBC New York's Katherine Creag reports.

But the business was out of commission for just two weeks before finding a creative new home -- Otto's Sea Grill, a nearby restaurant that is closed for the winter season and had the space to spare. The new locale was made possible by the goodness of a friend and a neighbor's heart.

"It's nothing shy of a miracle, this is definitely what it's all about," said Danielle Clukies, who works at the florist shop. She said that the owner of Otto's, Ilona Jagnow, came to the store's rescue.

"If we can help somebody out and help them stay in business, this was the time to do it," Jagnow, a third-generation owner of the restaurant on Freeport's Nautical Mile, which has experienced fires of their own before. "We have nothing going on in the restaurant now. We have the ability to help them out."

Now the eatery's commercial refrigerators, needed by the florist, are being put to use by Clukies and the rest of the Durea's staff.

"The only place we could have walked in would be a restaurant, and the only person that asked us to walk in is Otto's," Clukies said.

The entire community is rallying around the beloved florist, starting a GoFundMe page and putting the word out that the shop was back in business.

"It's been amazing to hear from everyone, they are putting in orders and stopping by, it's been great," said Clukies.

Copyright NBC New York
Contact Us