Businesses rebound from Sandy damage from Sandy


Like thousands of residents of Franklin Square and Elmont, area businesses waited days for the restoration of power in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy — and with the wait time came the loss of business and revenue.

Businesses along Hempstead Turnpike were among the hardest hit by power outages. Many were forced to close their doors for the better part of two weeks, and only a few had generators to keep them up and running.

Platteduetsch Park Restaurant, on Hempstead Turnpike in Franklin Square, lost power for 13 days, along with many pounds of unrefrigerated food that spoiled. The restaurant has been a staple in the community since 1939, offering traditional German delicacies and hosting annual events like Oktoberfest in its biergarten.

Matt Buck, the restaurant’s general manager, said that having to close for days on end meant canceling or postponing 28 scheduled parties and throwing out approximately $14,000 worth of food. The building also suffered some roof damage, and the biergarten lost two large trees.

Nonetheless, Buck said, “I have to be very thankful. There’s people that are definitely in a worse situation than we are.”

Like many other businesses, Buck said he expected to lose power for only two or three days. The restaurant tends to be conservative when it comes to ordering food so that nothing goes to waste, he said, but in the days after the storm, he called his employees in to clean out the freezers and refrigerators. The staff, most of whom live locally, worked by flashlight.

Eighty percent of the parties scheduled in that 13-day time frame were canceled, while the rest managed to find alternative dates. “A lot of people thanked their blessings and asked for their deposits back,” Buck said — and the restaurant willingly obliged.

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