With power knocked out to a great deal of the East End last week, it was no surprise that many flocked to local eateries as soon as they opened their doors. While not everyone was up an running shortly after the storm, the restaurants that were reported doing brisk business. We reached out to a few owners to see how they were affected by last week's events.
Chef-owner Doug Gulija of The Plaza Cafe: "Believe it or not business seemed to pick up and a lot of guests took advantage of our casual bar menu. For us the aftermath with the gas shortage and fisherman not being able to get out to sea seem to be the bigger problem. One of my guys still has no electric, one's phone line went down in Montauk so we couldn't get an order in, and another in the city has no gas to make a delivery. All this with [Restaurant Week] right around the corner."
Chef-owner Matthew Guiffrida of Muse: "We feel very lucky and fortunate that no one at the restaurant was hurt, but our heart goes out to those who were affected. We lost power for a couple of days, but no major damage or flooding...lots of food spoilage?we had to throw everything away and start from scratch?and some of our landscaping got a little rearranged, but we have nothing to complain about. Power came back on Wednesday and we were up and running again by Thursday night. For the next couple of weeks, we're taking 10% of our Wednesday night proceeds and donating them to the Red Cross."
Donald Sullivan, owner and operator of the Southampton Publick House: "We've been steady since the weekend. As we've been lucky with power uninterrupted, we've been able to serve lunch, dinner and late night since the storm. Fortunately for us, we're open daily year round, and I believe in being open during snow storms and anything else mother nature throws at us so that locals know that the Publick House will be one place that's open no matter the conditions."
Mark Smith of Rowdy Hall: "Business has been very good. Unfortunately it initially was because people didn't have power and need[ed] a place to eat and charge phones etc. and Rowdy Hall never lost power. I think there is also an element of people wanting to be with others during storms and disasters."
Jason Weiner of Almond: "We saw a bump in business last week. It was a combination of people wanting to go out and be with other human beings and a lot of restaurants were still offline. We noticed after 9/11 that people want to go and be with other people. That's why we're in this business. There's an inherent conviviality to what we do. The restaurant never lost power, which is amazing. The ironic thing is if there's a lighting storm we lose it Bridgehampton. We boarded up the windows Sunday morning ? we re-opened for Tuesday dinner. Now it's restaurant week and it still seem slow. We're still having issues getting product. We get a lot of local seafood whenever we can, but they've closed a lot of the scallop beds. A lot of issues are just starting to really come to [into focus]."
We'd love to hear from a few more restaurants about how they've been handling things over the last week. Feel free to shoot us an Email.