Long Island restaurant provides temporary home for flower shop destroyed by fire

FREEPORT, Long Island (WABC) -- A Freeport flower shop destroyed by a fire in early November now has a temporary home thanks to the owner of a local restaurant.

Ilona Jagnow, the owner of Otto's Sea Grill in Freeport, offered her restaurant space to Duryea's flower shop.

"If we could do something and help them, this was the time to do it," Jagnow said.

Jagnow usually closes the restaurant in January for the winter, but decided to close in November this year due to the ever-changing COVID regulations for restaurants.

Those with Duryea's set up inside the restaurant last Saturday.

"We are so grateful and thankful for our Freeport community," said Danielle Clukies with Duryea's.

On Friday, November 13, a fire destroyed Duryea's space in a building on Guy Lombardo Avenue. The shop had been there since the mid-1980s.

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A short time later, Jagnow reached out to those with Duryea's.

Jagnow said her family went through several fires at the restaurant.

"I know that feeling when you hear there's a fire in your business," she said.

Those with Duryea's have turned the kitchen at Otto's into a florist workplace. Ribbons are now in the place of dishes, vases line the counters and refrigerators are filled with flowers.

"We're up and running full service," said Danielle Clukies.

Jagnow is not charging Duryea's rent. They are only pitching in for the electric bill to cover the cost of powering the refrigerators.

"It's sort of like you have the worst luck in the world and all of the sudden you have the best luck in the world," said Brian Clukies, Danielle Clukies's husband.

Brian Clukies said when they opened on Saturday at Otto's, people came by simply wanting to drop off money.

"We've never felt more loved in our lives," he said.

Jagnow plans to reopen the restaurant in March by which time those with Duryea's hope to be back in their old space or in a new location.

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