Blackout costs restaurateurs $60K

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A freak outage on the north side of 100 King Street on St. Patrick’s Day cost five high-volume restaurants an estimated $60,000 in lost business, restaurateurs who were surveyed said last week.

About 7 pm on March 17 a transformer owned and operated by Dominion Power made a loud pop and then blew, turning out the power at Il Porto, Bugsy’s, The Wharf, Landini Brothers and the Fish Market. Power was not restored until the wee hours of the next day — costing restaurateurs heartburn and a lot of St. Patrick’s Day traffic.

Homeowners cooking St. Patty’s Day meals found themselves suddenly without cooking power, and scurrying into restaurants on the south side of King Street, where the power never failed. “It was a great night for us,” said Hussein Dishdad, co-owner of the The Warehouse Bar & Grille at 214 King Street. “We had a lot more people than we expected.”

Across the street the mood was gloomier. “We lost about $30,000 that night,” said Franco Landini, owner of Landini Brothers Restaurant. “We lost a lot of fresh fish and a lot of customers that night. This happens about every six months. I plan to meet with the Mayor about it.”

A Dominion Power spokesperson said that the transformer blew, and that power was restored within about six hours or so, but could not provide further information on the outage.

“It started at about 7 pm and we had to shut everything down,” said John Suyat, manager of The Wharf at 119 King Street. “Everything was shut down except for the emergency lights. We were hauling whole Maine lobsters, soft shell crabs and steaks across the street so we could ice everything. Four lobsters died in the outage. We did not have the luck of the Irish.”

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