Gubbins Perfect Fit, the East Hampton Village staple that has been closed since last winter when a broken water line filled its basement stock room with water, is open again, and longtime customers are giving the shop a warm welcome.
"We're ecstatic that in the three days we've been open the community has shown us more support than we could have ever imagined," said Geary Gubbins, who has run the shop at 53 Park Place since 2013. "It's just been a real shot in the arm to get ourselves back in gear."
All the store's merchandise was lost in the freak flood, and much of what was salvageable was donated to Hamptons Community Outreach and distributed to people in need.
Mr. Gubbins was not expecting to reopen his East Hampton location.
"There was a new tenant that was going to take the space and she originally planned to sign a lease starting Oct. 1, but the deal fell through," he said. "We just decided to go back into the business."
He had just completed removing everything of his that remained in the store so the new tenant could move in, when he got the news. "We're up for the challenge," he said. "It shouldn't be too difficult. We still have the core setup of the store."
His parents, Barbara and Justin Gubbins, started the business 35 years ago, opening in 1989 at 86 Park Place.
"For me it was emotionally draining and sad not to be in the village for the summer. People were calling constantly, and we felt bad for the community," said Ms. Gubbins. "Traffic was just horrendous. Some people came to our Southampton location" -- Gubbins Running Ahead -- "but I also had some people call and say, I just can't make it from Amagansett."
His mother was set to retire, but has put those plans on hold to help her son reestablish the business.
"Right now, we have somewhat a skeleton selection of our key footwear, men's, women's, and kids', but each day our inventory will grow more and more," said Mr. Gubbins. "We're doing our best to rebuild and get back to the Gubbins that this town loves. When you lose 7,500 shoes, you have to buy some more."
"We'd love people just to pop their heads in and say hello," said Ms. Gubbins. "They're happy we're back and we're happy to be back."
For the time being, Gubbins will be open from Thursday through Monday, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The Southampton location remains open seven days a week.