This afternoon, I made a quick call to La Bonne Soupe to ask chef/owner Daniel Pont how the second day back in business went. The restaurant had closed for two weeks on a health code issue, during which Pont fell ill and was hospitalized.
When I ate lunch there Wednesday, I sat outside at the one table on the sidewalk on 8th Street. I watched people walk by and do doubletakes when they realized La Bonne Soupe was open again. One man cursed and then said to his friend, "We could have eaten there today, I didn't know he was open again."
That was the first day, which saw Pont open his lunch-only eatery without fanfare, The line was quite short, the wait no more than 10 minutes, Then came the magic of word-of mouth. The line Thursday was very long and steady. Things are back to normal.