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Despite initial concerns, the regulars are back at Manhattan hotel that was closed after Sandy

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The regulars are back at a Lower Manhattan boutique hotel.

Rachel Fogel says there were initial concerns that the Wall Street Inn — started by her grandfather — would not make a comeback after Superstorm Sandy.

The boutique hotel was evacuated as the storm hit.

Fogel says the scene the next day on South William Street was discouraging.

It was dark and cold. It smelled like gasoline.

Then came weeks of work on electrical and heating systems.

Fogel says the phone came back on in time to receive a complaint. A woman’s plans to celebrate her birthday at the hotel were ruined.

The hotel reopened in December. Contractors were the first post-storm guests.