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Commack Eateries Take 'Tremendous' Hit From Sandy

Restaurants owners say they were forced to throw out all food, but despite losses remain upbeat and try to give back to community.

 

More than three weeks after Hurricane Sandy, power has been restored to most of Commack's residents and businesses. While residents are attempted to resume life as usual, many local restaurants and eateries are trying to overcome what some described as 'tremendous' blow. 

"We lost all the food we had in refrigeration, we lost all of our business for four days" said Peter Georgatos, owner of Premier Diner. 

Georgatos said the diner has received a pre-ordered food delivery shortly before the storm designed to carry him through the week, which he valued between $15,000 to $20,000. 

"We had to throw everything out and we had to work very hard to open up again," he said. 

Georgatos estimated the Premier Diner makes on average $10,000 a day in sales. When added to the cost of the spoiled food, his business took a  $55,000 - $60,000 due to Hurricane Sandy. 

Business is now back to usual at the Premier Diner, but Georgatos said he's yet to figure out how to bounce back from the storm. He's waiting on advice from his accountant before filing a claim with insurance, and hoping it will cover most of his losses. 

Yet, Georgato's son said "It's been rough on everyone, but it could have been worse." 

His upbeat attitude was shared by Shelby Poole, owners of Jackson's, who despite her own losses attempted to provide for the Commack community in the aftermath of Sandy. 

"It's been a big loss not only for our business but for our employees too," Poole said. 

She said she was forced to throw out most if not all of her food. 

Poole hosted Jackson's weekly Trivia night's as a fundraiser for the American Red Cross, with all profits from Hurricane Shots benefiting the charity. She also opened up the restaurant and bar's party room as a warming station where locals without power could charge up electronics with no fee. 

"We've heard from our employees, and everyone's happy to get back to work," she said. 

Business is hopping at Perfecto Mundo in Commack, where owner/manager Liz Keschl said she's happy to be open again. The restaurant was closed for more than a week after Hurricane Sandy hit, until Nov. 5. 

"It had a tremendous impact on my business. I had to throw out my entire inventory," Keschl said. 

Following the disaster, Keschl said she had a group of 22 National grid workers and employees come in to eat dinner on Nov. 9. during a live music set.  

"They walked in during the middle of their work night, dirty and smelly, dressed in their orange reflector vests," she said. "When the musician announced them, everyone stopped, stood up and applauded them." 

Keschl said despite her losses, she's hoping to be able to give back to the Commack community and Long Island. She has been approached about a potential Hurricane Sandy-related fundraiser for Long Island Cares, to which she quickly said yes. 

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Herb Rosenblatt November 16, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Premier Diner should reconsider their menu price structure. They are so out of line and overpriced, compared to other diners in the immediate area. What's worse is that they have a sharing charge which they had the nerve to increase from $5.00 to $7.00. You've lost me as a customer as well as many of my friends and relatives. Reconsider what you've been charging
Tom Dewick November 16, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Stopped going there because of the prices.
pbug56 November 16, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Same here. It's been a long time since I could afford to eat there. The prices and the food just don't match.
John Gruber November 16, 2012 at 07:04 PM
glad to see the hard workers being appreciated
* November 18, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Premier Diner? Hmm Why couldn't you and your staff set up BBQ'S and give out the food to our Community as some did? Herb Rosenblatt just "advise" you your problems. All EATS need to purchase charcoal and BBQ'S and thank the HEAVENS we all surrived. You took a hit so did we all. What did you offer back to your Town of Smithtown Community? Herb, as for the $7.00 sharing plate. Just take a bread plate from your guest. Make it easy. Shameful Premier Diner. Candlelight Diner exceeds my expertations!

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