11/02/2012 01:45:00 PM

Shuttered City Restaurants Prepare for Power, May Take Days to Reopen

Restaurants are ready....
Downtown residents are eagerly awaiting the resumption of power, and the restaurants that have remained closed throughout this week are gearing up to restart their operations. Opening the doors for customers isn't as easy as turning on a light switch - earlier this week the Department of Health issued guidelines for reopening, so restaurants have a lot of things to manage,  including repairing any damage, clearing out spoiled foods and reordering supplies.

Some have been prepping in advance, with eateries that are part of larger groups having a real advantage. Daniel Boulud's restaurants have prepped goods at the other establishments for the reopening of DBGB, and the staff is on call to come in. General Manager Olivier Rassinoux is rarin' to go. "In theory when the switch flips, we can too," he says. David Burke Kitchen in The James Hotel estimates that it will take five or six hours to get ready after the lights go on. "We will anticipate David Burke Kitchen's opening by prepping in our UES properties," says the eponymous chef. He notes that they will not be running at full steam right away, stating that the restaurant will begin with "a limited menu at Kitchen and building it at each service."

The folks over at the Meatball Shops in the East and West Villages are also ready to start serving as soon as possible. The eatery hired some of their staff to help clean out the walk-ins on Wednesday (also giving employees a way to make a few valuable dollars), and have extra cooks working at the Williamsburg location to prepare food. They say that if the power comes on this afternoon, the storefronts should be up up and running by "first thing Saturday."

Things will take longer at other venues. Marc Murphy was focused on feeding hungry diners at Landmarc Columbus Circle and Ditch Plains UWS, which were up and running soon after the storm. "It will take us two to three days to get Landmarc and Ditch Plains up and running once the power comes on," he says. "A lot of work needs to be done." Chef Gabe Thompson of the L'Apicio, which has barely been open a week, is also in the days-not-hours camp, noting the challenges of getting a brand new venue back at full power: "It's almost like we're opening a new restaurant, starting from scratch. We have no stock of anything and it's daunting - we've never been in this position before."

Restaurants will surely do their best to open for business as soon of those bulbs start to glow. The diners going back to the areas of the city shouldn't expect things to be up and running right away. ""We will need a day or two to prepare," says Ed Schoenfeld, owner of the popular West Village's RedFarm, "dumplings take time!"


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