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Restaurants busy with powerless customers looking for hot meal

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 31 2012 05:12:12 PM CDT
Updated On: Nov 01 2012 05:18:52 AM CDT
ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

Power outages leave precious few options for people trying to get a hot meal, and local restaurants that have power are getting crowded.

Business at the Sunrise Diner in Allentown has been non-stop since Monday.  The slam from Sandy means a surge in business.

"Well, it's a good half an hour now. I'd say it's almost 40 minutes," said William Boandl.

Folks walking in the door for some heat and a hot meal Wednesday were greeted with a wait.  But most people seemed to be okay with it.

"Hey it's better than sitting at home with nothing to do, right?" puzzled Deb Gress.

"I don't mind," added Frieda Yost.  "What else are you going to do? Where you going to go?"

Others walked out, deciding instead to try somewhere else.  But long lines formed all day at local eateries that opened their doors.

"No matter where you go it's a long line. It's all over," explained Boandl.  "Too many of 'em aren't open at all."

Even some restaurants able to serve food found it hard to keep the fridge and shelves stocked.  The packed tables made it hard for them to keep up.

"Our roll delivery has not gotten here all week because their bakery is shut down," explained Darto's owner Stephanie Dartouzos.  "So we got some supplies delivered that they brought to us, but we've been out looking for rolls."

Billy's Downtown Diner owner Billy Kounoupis was busy Wednesday, placing food orders.  The Bethlehem hot spot just got its lights back on minutes before our crew showed up.

"Earlier today, I brought in my crew and we worked with no lights on," said Kounoupis.

After having no power for three days, he was forced to toss out nearly $12,000 worth of food.

"Probably around 4,000 eggs, about 100 pounds of chicken and about 80 pounds of salmon."

Billy's Downtown Diner will be open Thursday morning.