Dinner time? Off to the diner
By Adam Wisnieski and Erin Brodwin
While some businesses are still reeling from Sandy’s effects, others say the storm was more of a blessing than a curse.
“The storm was a wonderful thing for us,” said Tom Macora of the Riverdale Diner on Broadway at West 238th Street.
Mr. Macora said people complaining of power outages and an inability to travel due to gas rationing have been streaming in since the restaurant re-opened last Tuesday.
Down the street at the Bronx Ale House, which closed the day Sandy arrived but reopened the following day, people gathered around outlets and television screens, charging cell phones and watching the news last week, according to server Patrick Herlihy, 34.
“It brought new meaning to the term public house,” he said.
“We had some of our busiest nights right after the storm,” he said. “People were off work and they wanted to forget about things for a while.”
Those who couldn’t headed to Hardware N.Y. on Broadway, where manager Santiago Garcia said customers came in phases.
“First, they bought flashlights and tape,” Garcia said. “Now, they’re coming in for gas cans and generators.”
Mr. Garcia said while the store has welcomed the new flow of customers, they have merely replaced his former client base.
“Our normal customers are people doing home improvement,” Mr. Garcia said. “But no one’s doing that now. Now, they’re looking to prepare for an emergency or fix what the storm may have broken.”
Mr. Garcia said he remains hopeful, however, that the new blood will improve sales in the long run.
Patti Cassiere of Cora Hardware said all her customers were buying batteries, flashlights, tarps, and — mysteriously — shower curtains before the storm. After a lull, people came back for a second round of batteries and now everyone’s looking for gas cans.
“You can’t get a gas can now if you stood on your head, even from the suppliers,” she said.
But not every business was booming from Sandy.