As Valley Stream residents continue to pick up the pieces left behind by Hurricane Sandy, so too are the local businesses, many of which had to close their doors for several days.
The power is slowly but surely coming back to areas of the village, including the business district on Rockaway Avenue. P.J. Harper’s restaurant got its electricity back on Nov. 2, after losing it, like most of Valley Stream, on Oct. 29. Since the restaurant was without power for several days, all of its perishable contents had to be thrown out.
“For us, it was a disaster because we lost all of our product,” said owner Paul Pandolfi. “We had to throw away like $3,000 worth of food”
Pandolifi, who has owned his restaurant for 23 years, said he’s hoping that insurance will cover a decent amount of his losses.
Mike Magioncalda, owner of Magic Bagels on West Merrick Road for the last 31 years, also had to throw out all of his inventory last week. He and his son came into the store on Nov. 2 to clear out the perishable items. The power came back later in the day, but the food and drinks had already gone bad. Magioncalda also photographed his inventory before throwing it out for insurance purposes.
Magic Bagels opened its door once again on Nov. 4, after Magioncalda was able to restock his food and drink supply. “Saturday, it was like opening up a new store because we had to make all the bagels again, all the dough, all the salads and everything,” he said. “It was just crazy.”
Home Depot on Sunrise Highway never lost power thanks to its backup generator and was open the morning after Sandy hit. Store manager Jeffrey Kuhr said items such as generators and sump-pumps have been hard to keep on the shelves due to high demand. Unlike most other businesses in the area, Home Depot has seen a rise in customers over the last week and a half.
“Business has increased but it’s kind of changed because instead of people buying the normal, everyday staples, they’re now buying the emergency things,” Kuhr said.
Home Depot has dozens of employees, but not all of them were able to make it into work after the storm because bus and train services were shut down. Kuhr said the store devised carpool plans to help get people to work.