Upper Marlboro Restaurants Lose Thousands in Friday's Storm
Power outages left local businesses without customers and food over the weekend.
It was a rough weekend for restaurant owners in downtown Upper Marlboro after Friday's storm knocked out power and left them with refrigerators full of spoiled food, including milk, meats, seafood and produce.
Most of the restaurants along Main Street remained closed over the weekend, but some like, Olde Towne Inn, opened its doors Sunday night offering a limited menu based on what they had available.
Owner Donnell Long said he lost nearly $2,000 worth of food after his restaurant lost power Friday night. Although Long was closed to customers most of the weekend, staff worked to clean out the refrigerators and assess any damage for four hours Saturday, hoping the power would come back on, but it didn't.
"We do extremely well over the weekends usually," he said. "Our Sunday brunch draws in a crowd."
The power returned on Main Street sometime after 4 p.m. Sunday.
In the past, Long said storms haven't knocked out his power for days, only a couple of hours, and normally he has a generator to keep him going.
"We haven't lost power in a long time," he said. "The [power] didn't go down during [Hurricane] Irene."
He said if anything affects the power in Upper Marlboro, normally it's the heat.
Long said he threw out pounds of meat and seafood and was still serving a limited menu Monday at lunch. He hoped to be back in business completely by Monday evening. Only a few doors down the street, at Long's other restaurant, DD's Cafe, all the dairy products were lost.
"I probably lost a total of $15,000 to $20,000 from this storm," Long added.
At lunch Monday, other restaurants like Marlboro Grille, and Al's Deli Supreme along Main Street were packed with folks grabbing a bite to eat -- whether they were taking refuge from their dark homes or taking a break from business in the county office buildings and courthouses that were fully functional.
Nick Doulaveris, owner of Al’s Deli Supreme, said he was disappointed by Pepco's response time, but that he tried to open as fast as he could Monday morning — three hours later than normal at 9 a.m.
"All that Saturday and Sunday business gone," Doulaveris said, adding that it'll take him maybe a month to make up that loss.
Although the deli was starting to fill up around noon, he said it wasn't busy and business was "just OK."
However, Ledo's Pizza in Upper Marlboro probably took the worst hit as it remained closed Monday at lunch, while the staff tossed spoiled food and cleaned out back. A sign on the door noted they were still closed due to the storm. An owner or manager was not available to comment on Ledo's situation.