After seven months without gas for cooking — not to mention heat during the winter months — the service has been restored at Pangea, the restaurant-cabaret at 178 Second Ave. between 11th Street and 12th Street.
As previously reported, on Oct. 30, Pangea management entered the restaurant to discover that Con Ed had shut off their gas in the middle of the night. (A nearby resident was said to smell gas on the block. Although Con Ed didn't detect a leak, they went ahead and shut down the gas service to just the restaurant.)
In the ensuing months, Pangea's ownership was entangled in the time-consuming bureaucratic process that included scheduling inspections by the DOB, Con Ed and an assortment of plumbers. Local elected officials, including City Councilmember Carlina Rivera's office, had been helping navigate the red tape. However, complicating matters: an inspection showed that Pangea needed all new pipes before gas service could return.
In the interim, Pangea owners Stephen Shanaghan and Arnoldo Caballero took action and bought electric cooking equipment and created a menu to fit their circumstances with the help of a new chef.
In an update on their crowdfunding campaign earlier this year, Shanaghan noted:
Dealing with bureaucracy in normal times is a challenge. Being subjected to it during pandemic restrictions is immobilizing.
We quickly reinvented and began operations using all-electric equipment. The process has been unnecessarily drawn out, costly and back-breaking.
He went on to thank Pangea's loyal patrons:
The only reason our doors are not shuttered is due to the tremendous support we have received from our extended family of customers, friends and artists. We are fortunate to have so many who believe in what Pangea stands for. Over the years, Pangea has become a second home to all. In more recent years, it has become an incubator for artistic expression in our performance space. All genres of music, theater, satire and comedy have been presented.
Hopefully, things will continue to look up for Pangea. Aside from the restored gas service, they started to host limited-seating shows in the cabaret space... they are also hosting no-cover entertainment in the Piano Lounge in the front of the restaurant. (Check out their website for details on upcoming events.) And there's the recent return of Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Pangea has a long history in the neighborhood. Read our interview with Shanaghan and Caballero here.