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Storming Back from the Storm: Bahrs Landing Going Strong Since 1917

BahrsLanding_optBY ASHLEY MANZ
SPECIAL TO NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Lives are moving forward, homes and businesses being rebuilt, but the images of the storm will always have a lasting effect on Bahrs Landing owners Jay and Becky Cosgrove. The impact of Hurricane Sandy on Highlands and Sea Bright made international headlines.

Over the nearly century the restaurant has been in Highlands, there have been other storms that required rebuilding with improvements being added each time. Those improvements meant the location fared fairly when Hurricane Sandy hit.

Sandy’s wrath resulted in five feet of flooding in the basement, despite having the building lifted in 1960. The main dining room – that seats 225 patrons – was not impacted. The restaurant and marina were back up and running 17 days after the storm. And they were only closed for 15 days to repair the damage.

What stood out for Cosgrove was that, even though the building was flooded with about 5 ½ feet of water, the Bahrs sign in the front survived the battering and high winds.

“One of the first things we did was get the sign in and lit, as it was a sign of hope.” For Jay, it was important to get his 50 full and part time employees back to work and establish financial security as soon as possible after the storm. “There were hundreds of homes without power and many families were displaced and had no way of preparing meals, so our priority was to get back open so we could be available.”

Nine of Bahrs’ employees were permanently displaced from flooding but continued to help with the cleanup while living in shelters. Many of his employees even volunteered at the local shelters and donated clothes and food. The storage and physical plant was restored from flood – a few months after the storm - to a point where they were approved to operate safely.

Jay wrote about the impact of Superstorm Sandy in a book titled, “Bahrs Landing Still Standing since 1917.” This book tells the story of the storm in dramatic photographs taken by Cosgrove and a local professional photographer.

Cosgrove, and his entire staff, have been impressed with the number of tourists that have come to his restaurant and nearby towns to support local businesses. Even though, he says, many are here to look at the damage post-Sandy, they are making an effort to support the businesses.

Cosgrove is thrilled that the summer season has been busy even though the nearby towns are still rebuilding. Cosgrove, great-grandson of the original owner, has never witnessed a storm quite like Sandy.

After restoring the restaurant and re-opening, Jay and Becky Cosgrove are glad to announce they are back in business full time and ready to serve their hungry customers! With the help of their employees and support from tourists, they are enjoying a busy summer.

They are open year-round with the fall and winter is expected to be busy as well.

To learn more about this business and others affected by the storm, please visit http://bit.ly/19EYgjm. Funded by a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the WCEC’s “We’re Storming Back” Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Program provides free workshops, training, and resources to New Jersey businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy to help them to recover and thrive.

*** *** ***

Ashley Manz is the Business Content Producer for NewJerseyNewsroom.com and the WCEC.

About The WCEC: The WCEC, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit corporation, is a U. S. Small Business Administration’s Women’s Business Center. The WCEC provides the tools for individuals to successfully own, operate and grow their small businesses, thereby investing financially, intellectually and emotionally in their communities. The WCEC provides more than 150 classes, seminars and individual consulting sessions each year for more than 5,000 participants. For more information please visit hwww.wcecnj.org/.

 
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