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Restaurant Stories

Taquiera LES

  1. Lower East Side
  2. 198 Orchard St

"Totally flooded from floor to ceiling"

We have two locations--one here and one in Jersey City. The Jersey City location totally flooded from floor to ceiling, and the owners actually live above that location. We had to throw out all the food we had in the back. On Sunday we came in and cleaned out the whole kitchen.

We just want New Yorkers to come in and support us! Lots of regulars came in and tipped well today. Any business is greatly appreciated. Locals were asking us when we were going to reopen--they were having taco withdrawals. We were going to open Tuesday but realized that we were capable of opening Monday; it was actually a really good day considering it was a Monday and post-hurricane. Spread the word! It's a good time to come in--everything is super fresh and just off the truck!

Parkside Lounge

  1. East Village
  2. 317 E Houston
  3. Parkside Lounge website

"We used our bar as a staging station for donations"

Like the other businesses in the area, we didn't get power back for a week. On top of that, we had our ATM stolen, an awning blown off, and the the loss of our busiest week of the year. Our beer was skunked and we had to throw away all of our food. Our employees lost a week of work.... I could go on and on. On Saturday, the day after power returned, we used our bar as a staging station for donations and one of our employees drove supplies to and from relief areas. We opened Saturday night and had our regulars really happy to be back with us. We were just as happy as they were and are hoping that people continue to come out and help us make up for lost time. This bar has been here since 1908.

Baby Cakes NYC

  1. Lower East Side
  2. 248 Broome Street
  3. Baby Cakes NYC website

"We are donating our day-olds to Far Rockaway"

We lost a few ingredients--not too much--we were fortunate. We were able to move everything out of here to Brooklyn. We opened on Saturday and business was slow but it is picking back up. We were sure to move everything we knew wouldn't last for a week, mostly our flours.

Overall though, we're pretty good. We are donating our day-olds to Far Rockaway and trying to help out the best we can.

WONG

  1. West Village
  2. 7 Cornelia Street
  3. General Manager: Kathy

"My Employees lost 7 days of work due to Sandy"

To start thank you for your support in the awareness of NYC businesses that have suffered recently. My concerns are the same as many other restaurants - that my employees, most of whom live paycheck to paycheck, are taken care of. My Employees lost 7 days of work due to Sandy. First because the transit system went down, and then because we lost electricity in the West Village. While we might be able to get insurance claims on the food we lost due to the power failure, insurance does not cover employees in these types of circumstances.

We are coming back strong here at WONG. While we are unable to get many food items due to the storms destruction, we are still making our way to the farmers market to put together what is almost a whole new menu just to be able to work, serve, and take care of others who want to be out and about after several days of being cooped up in their apartments. Its touching really, guests are thanking us for being open at this time. But we are grateful for people who are out right now, supporting the small business, taking care of each other in a different way you could say.

Virage Mediterranean Bar and Grille

  1. East Village
  2. 118 2nd Ave
  3. Manager: Jordan

"We gave our inventory that was still safe to eat to the landlord and neighbors"

We lost all of our inventory—dairy, meat, veggies. We came back on Wednesday after the storm and gave away our inventory that was still safe to eat to the landlord and neighbors. We were lucky that the building wasn't affected. Our landlord is amazing--during the storm he was cleaning the gutters and roof to ensure that we were safe.

We opened back up but it’s still been difficult for our workers. Transportation is limited and they don’t live in the neighborhood so they are either paying for expensive cab rides or riding their bikes in. Payroll has been delayed for at least a week, but our waitstaff has lost money from tips in the past week.

We need customers to enjoy our hospitality at Virage. We need people to come back because we don’t know the impact the past week is going to make on our balance sheet. We’ve submitted our losses to our insurance but it will be some time until we see what we get back.

The Cardinal

  1. East Village
  2. 243 East 4th Street
  3. Owners: Leanne and Curtis

"We prepared spaghetti meals (in the dark!) for the local community"

We lost $1-2k of food and supply inventory. All of our food in our fridge and freezers were gone. We weren’t open from Monday-Friday this past week, so we lost the revenue and tips from business being closed. To get back up and running, one of our workers stayed overnight to prep the kitchen and restaurant for Saturday morning business. Zip cars aren’t available, so it’s been difficult to restock supplies. We traveled uptown to buy supplies at regular prices, not at wholesale prices.

We want to make sure that our neighborhood is safe and well-fed. On Thursday we prepared spaghetti meals (in the dark!) for the local community. There is a lot of need, so the meal went quickly. We need neighbors to come out and support us and local restaurants. We are 100% supportive of what Eat Down Tip Up is doing to rejuvenate business downtown.

NGAM

  1. East Village
  2. 99 3rd Ave
  3. Owner: Hong

"We believe if we can take care of our employees, customers and community, everything else will fall into place"

We lost all our inventory and extra day of income after the electricity came back on because we source all our food from local farms and produce suppliers. We lost a weeks worth of business income which impacts a one year old start-up such as ours. Many of our employers have suffered due to loss of personal income. We paid our employees the day they got back and provided cash gift cards to replace essentials at home.

Support our employees, neighborhood and community. Let us do what we do best and serve you with the freshest ingredients and best Thai dishes. My staff is anxious to get back to normal and do what we do best--making delicious, modern Thai cuisines. We will also donate 20% of Dinner Service proceeds Monday, November 5th through Wednesday, November 7th. We believe if we can take care of our employees, customers and community, everything else will fall into place. It's a leap of love.

Northern Spy Food Co.

  1. East Village
  2. 511 E. 12 St.
  3. Manager: Ilissa

"We held a soup kitchen in the street"

Thankfully we didn't take on any water, but we lost all of our inventory - our proteins, veggies, everything. We lost things that you wouldn't even think about. We lost our foods that had been marinating or pickling for three to four days.

Right after the hurricane, when the power was out, our chefs made it to our restaurant (some biking from Williamsburg) to cook in the dark for the neighborhood. We held a soup kitchen on the street.

New Yorkers can really help by just dropping in and saying "hi." We just need support from the neighborhood. During the storm, we were waiting here doing anything would could to be back serving. Stop by and eat!

Mission Chinese Food

  1. Lower East Side
  2. 154 Orchard St.
  3. Manager: Alan

"Every little bit helps"

Like all other restaurants in the area, we lost the inventory because we didn't have power. We were fortunate, though, because we had no serious structural damage. Our servers still lost a week's pay. New Yorkers can really help by coming to grab a bite to eat. And of course, tip your waiters really well! Every little bit helps.

The Malt House

  1. Greenwich Village
  2. 206 Thompson Street
  3. Owner: Darren

"We're a brand new business... so we're struggling anyway"

Loss of revenue is what affected us most. There are two big weeks in the year: St Paddy's Day and Halloween. We lost the biggest revenue week of the year without question. I can't really put a figure on it—but A LOT!

Also, We are a brand new business—we've only been open ten weeks--so we are struggling anyway. We lost all of our food stock; we are still don't fully know the impact, but it's roughly $3,000.

Come and have a good time. Just get back to normal; that's the main thing. We are hoping Bloomberg is going to do another Halloween. That would be cool! The city needs a bit of spirit. New Yorker's resilience will come through.

Edi & the Wolf

  1. Alphabet City
  2. 102 Avenue C
  3. Owner: Edward

"Our entire basement was flooded to the ceiling"

We lost everything. Our entire basement was flooded to the ceiling. We lost all of food inventory, our dried and paper goods, 4 wine coolers, and beer system. All of my staff didn’t work for 5 days. Our other restaurant, Seasonal, was closed due to the crane in midtown Manhattan.

We need customers. We need people to explore avenue C and the businesses along here. We need our insurance and FEMA to kick in to pay for our material losses.

The Commons Chelsea

  1. Chelsea
  2. 128 7th Ave
  3. Partner: Sam

"We made coffee in the dark from a gas stove"

We lost all of our inventory. Everything in the basement had to go. We are close enough inland that luckily we didn't flood, but we had no power all week. We made the best of it though. We opened up our screen window in the front from Wednesday through Friday last week and had a mini bake sale, with goods purchased in areas that had power. We made coffee in the dark from the gas stove that still worked. People really wanted the coffee.

It's most important to help the people that really need help. People who don't have power, who lost family, shelter and have experienced the worst of this storm. Next, the restaurant industry could really use New Yorkers' business. People who rely on hourly wages lost a full week of pay. With the inventory that was lost across the city and the lost wages, we need New Yorkers to get out there and frequent our restaurants and coffee shops.