INWOOD — Uptown animal lovers are celebrating the return of one of the neighborhood’s beloved pet stores after it reopened Saturday, more than five months after a massive fire ruined the store.
Furry Fiends owner Amine Benmesbah said he was thrilled to finally reopen after months of operating his severely diminished business by taking telephone orders and making home deliveries.
“I couldn’t have done this without all of you,” he said, speaking about the Inwood community that came to his aid as he worked to reopen his business amid the excitement of his wife giving birth to their first child last month.
Furry Fiends closed its doors after a fire forced the demolition of the two-story retail space on the corner of West 207th Street and Broadway on Jan. 3, which pushed out the pet store and nine other businesses.
Two stores have reopened — Bread and Yoga, in a temporary space at Holy Trinity Church at 20 Cumming St., and Dichter Pharmacy, at 4975 Broadway.
Furry Fiends reopened across the street from its original shop in place of a longtime dry cleaner that sold his business to Benmesbah in order to retire after serving the community for 36 years.
“It’s amazing how things have worked out,” Benmesbah said on Sunday, showing off the larger and brighter space. “We couldn’t have imagined this earlier this year.”