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Brooklyn Bar Works To Raise Money For Sandy Repairs

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TWC News: Brooklyn Bar Works To Raise Money For Sandy Repairs
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A Brooklyn business is trying to raise money for repairs needed to reopen after Hurricane Sandy. NY1's Arlene Borenstein filed the following report.

Tone Balzano Johansen, one of the owners of Sunny's Bar in Red Hook, was inside the basement when intense floods from Hurricane Sandy hit the building.

"I heard the water, but I didn't realize what it was, and then the window exploded," Johansen said.

The well-known neighborhood bar has been closed ever since. Flood damage not only destroyed the basement but part of the first floor as well. Now, owners say it could cost them $150,000 to get the bar back up and running.

"We lost compressors, the hot water boiler, the heat, as far as that goes" said Sunny 'A.R.' Balzano, a co-owner of the bar. "All the electricity was shot. The water hit the ceiling and climbed above the ceiling."

The owners aren't the only ones determined to reopen as soon as they can. Employees and patronsdescribe the bar as the heart and soul of Red Hook.

"It's not a place that's in business for the sake of making money," said one patron. "It's in business because it enjoys what it does."

"Just a certain level of kindness, you know," said another patron. "It's a business, and it has to make money to survive, but it's more than that."

Sunny Balzano said they're determined to rebuild for the neighborhood and the people who have kept them in business for more 100 years.

"I would love to be able to put everybody's name on a plaque outside, saying, 'This belongs to us,'" he said.

Though dozens of volunteers have come out to Sunny's Bar to help, there's still a lot of work that needs to be done. To help Sunny's Bar, go to sunnysredhook.com

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