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Through Hurricane Sandy: Why Some Park Slope Businesses Stayed Open

Throughout the day and night on Monday, restaurants kept their doors open even as Hurricane Sandy swept into Brooklyn.

 

You can call them crazy, but you can also call them logical.

A surprising amount of Park Slope businesses stayed open throughout Hurricane Sandy on Monday, even though 30 mph winds swept down trees and branches during the day and 60 mph winds gusted at night.

Just off Seventh Avenue on First Street, South Brooklyn Pizza was open by 11 a.m.

The store’s manager, Umit Karaman, was making a pizza while throwing dough in the air at noon.

“I don’t know what will happen with the hurricane, but we’re open and ready to serve our community pizza,” Karaman said.

Although he did not have any customers for the first hour, he was hopeful.

“We just hope it passes us by smoothly, we hope no one gets hurt,” he said, explaining they usually stay open until midnight. “And in the mean time, we’re making pizza.”

Down on Fifth Avenue, Aperitivo was also open.

The bartender said that they are going to stay open for as long as possible.

“We’re staying open until we have to swim home!” said Graham Davis from behind the bar, explaining that they hope to stay open until 11 a.m.

A waitress said that when she told her friends she was going to work on Monday, her friends did not believe her.

The owner, Mario DiBiase, said that staying open through inclement weather was a tradition of sorts for his restaurant.

“We try to stay open to serve our regular customers. We’ve been open through all the storms so far— the blizzard, the tornado, Irene—so we hope to stay open through Hurricane Sandy,” DiBiase said.

Down on Fourth Avenue, Station Diner at Union Street was also open.

The shift manager, Liz Yun, put it simply:

“We are pretty much always open,” Yun said. “There’s a lot of antsy people leaving their homes, Con Ed workers on the job, so there’s money to be made.”

Over at Dizzy’s on Fifth Avenue, the scene was more like a Sunday brunch instead of the waning hours before Hurricane Sandy hit land. Every seat was taken with almost 20 people on the waiting list.

The co-owner, Matteo Pisciotta, said that he felt staying open was a good opportunity.

“School is out, work is out, where are people going to go? I assumed we’d be busy and we are crazy,” Pisciotta said. “But, we are concerned about our staff so we’ll send them home when the time comes in a car.”

But, in the meantime, why not serve the people who want to eat out?

“We might be closed tomorrow but Monday we were open, we’re a bacon of light,” he joked.  

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