It is 7 p.m. on a Wednesday night and the manager of S H Dumpling & Noodle Bar on Sullivan Street below West Third Street, has parked his white Dodge minivan on the sidewalk to beam his headlights into the darkened restaurant. Students huddle around tables, feasting on warm noodles and vegetable wontons — some of the only warm meals offered in Lower Manhattan. It is comfort food, in its truest form.
Hurricane Sandy hit this section of NYC hard, knocking out power and heat for hundreds of thousands of people and small businesses. Despite the hardships Howard, the manager who spoke on the condition of anonymity, has managed to keep his business afloat.
“I live in Queens and cook the rice at home, then drive it into the city in the morning,” Howard said. “But it’s been tough as we’ve had to throw away all our fish and meat.”
As students wander around Greenwich Village for warm food options outside of the crowded Weinstein and Kimmel Center for University Life, S H Dumpling & Noodles, which opened in early August, has survived on Howard’s ingenuity and the gas boilers cooking noodles in the back of the shop.
“We’re one of the only places open and we’ve been handing out menus and serving hot meals to al
l the students,” Howard said. “With Suzie’s and others closed, we’ve kept our doors open.”
One block over, however, pub and restaurant Amity Hall on Thompson and West Third streets is not surviving as well. While Amity Hall is normally teeming with noisy nightlife, the power outage has left the pub eerily devoid of customers.
“This is the entire week already,” said Michael Manhertz, the chef at Amity Hall. “And it’s Halloween. We’ve missed that whole situation going down. We might have to get a check from FEMA or something. We’re doing terribly.”
Despite Consolidated Edison’s optimistic announcement regarding power restoration to much of Lower Manhattan this weekend, small businesses can still expect a slow recovery in the coming weeks.
Manhertz and his staff have been using the free time to clean the pub, as the employees still need to be paid for this week.
“We’re cleaning now and everything, so we’ll be ready to go shopping and we’ll be ready to open just as soon as the power comes back. Immediately,” Manhertz said. “Hopefully the entirety of NYU will come and support us once we reopen.”
Esha Ray and Cole Riley are staff writers. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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