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Eateries Suffer Irreparable Losses from Power Outages

Owners say profits from the time without power following Hurricane Sandy won't return and they lost all their food due to spoilage.

Businesses are back to operating regularly now that power has been restored in Smithtown after Hurricane Sandy, but the two weeks without it caused irreparable damage to some, specifically in the food industry. 

"We emptied out our whole store, there was nothing left," said Frank Mannino, owner of Mannino’s on Main Street. 

Mannino’s wasn’t without food for long, as Mannino said they received an emergency shipment of food Sunday night, and the staff stayed from 4 a.m. Sunday to Monday at 9 a.m. preparing to open. 

Business is back to usual at Mannino’s, but the owner said locals were out en masse upon reopening. Despite the initial rush, being closed for as long as they were hurt profits. 

"We won't make it up, it's a loss,” Mannino said. “We'll be working for free for a couple of weeks."

In a similar situation to that of Mannino’s is its Branch Shopping Center neighbor Yogurtini. 

“[We] had to throw everything out,” said Ellen Bedziner, owner of Yogurtini.

While being without power derailed sales and forced the eatery to throw out product, it didn’t disrupt Yogurtini’s ability to have enough food to serve its customers for long.

"We get shipments three times a week. Our power was gone from Sunday to Sunday so when our power went back on Monday morning we received our delivery and were back open Monday morning,” Bedziner said. 

Baja Grill also was forced to throw out its food due to spoilage, from vegetables to chicken, steak, cheese and more. While they threw out their food the eatery was able to open right back up with food being brought over from its Northport location.

Baja’s manager Jerry Ralph said business was busier than normal as soon as the doors opened. 

"We were busy. Not flooded, but busy," he said. "People that don't have electricity had no choice, they had to go somewhere to eat."

Not all was negative with the monetary and product losses many these businesses suffered as the business owners said being able to serve customers strengthened many bonds with the locals not able to make warm meals or enjoy dessert at home. 

“It was like a big party and everyone was happy to eating something that made them feel good,” Bedziner said. “It got people's minds off of what was going on around them.”

mick filter November 15, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Too bad mannino didnt loose his business. He's the worst human being that lives in Smithtown.
Happy and Peppy November 16, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Its "lose" his business and that's a pretty bold statement, "worst human being in Smithtown." Was there a contest ?
VT November 16, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Then don t go there if you think he is "the worst human being in Smithtown " , I also was not aware there was a contest .
Mike November 17, 2012 at 05:49 PM
That's a bold statement , also been reports of price gouging in that same shopping center( not manninos) for food . Now that is a true candidate for worst.
mick filter November 18, 2012 at 11:21 PM
As a matter of fact there was a contest. It was a close call but Mr. Mannino won with 52.3% of the vote. The pannel consisted of 23 presidential-appointed judges who set out to award a person in each town of long island with the "worst person in town" award. When questioned, most of the judges stated that Mr Mannino "may just be the worst person they have ever interacted with, let alone just Smithtown". Aunt Jemima came in second place with 33 percent followed by kermit the frog with the remainder.

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