Hurricane Sandy may have come and gone, but she certainly has left a lasting impression upon Long Island, and the businesses of East Meadow, particularly on Hempstead Turnpike, are no exception.
Rampant power outages and long lines at the gas pump have local residents wishing for better times and fairer weather, and most of those afflicted are heading to fast food eateries on Hempstead Turnpike.
Serena Bradshaw, a shift manager at the McDonald’s on Hempstead Turnpike, said that business has never been better; at least, since the power finally came back on.
“We closed down last Sunday night because of the storm, and we were without power from last Monday until Tuesday, yesterday, so we were out over a week,” she said. “However, since we’re re-opened, we’ve definitely seen an increase in business. I would definitively say it’s probably twice as busy as normal,a lot of people are obviously still out of power, can’t cook in their homes, and are heading here to eat.”
With power restored, things are pretty much back to normal at the house that Ronald McDonald built, although the lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy are causing some minor staffing issues, Bradshaw said.
“We’ve had a few call-outs, because some workers are having issues with transportation or because their power is still out, a lack of gas, and so on,” she said.
Mama Theresa's Italian Restaurant is another Hempstead Turnpike eatery that has seen a spike in business once they had worked through their own trials caused by Sandy, according to owner Michael DaPruzzo.
“On the day of the hurricane we lost power, and by the next day we had half of the store lit, and the other half not lit,” he said. “We were only able to operate at that time on a minimum menu because we couldn’t use the kitchen and we could only make things like pizzas, calzones and so on.”
However, when full power was restored at Mama Theresa's, business has stepped up due to demand in the neighboring community.
“We had full power again Friday night, about 8 o’clock,” DaPruzzo said. “Since then, we’ve had better than average business and people in the surrounding area, who are actually able to get in their cars and drive, those are the people we’re serving besides out regular clientele.”
However, other businesses on Hempstead Turnpike are proving slower to get back on their feet due to the storm. Dahn Yoga Center has noted that some of their clients aren’t rushing right out to exercise since they reopened after being without power for nearly a week; presumably because they’re still dealing with the aftermath of Sandy themselves.
“It’s been slower since we reopened and we only just got back the phone and Internet today,” the owner of the fitness center said. “However, things have been slowly picking back up since we got out power back this past Sunday, so things are looking up.”