Restaurants serve up food, warmth

  • Thursday, February 13, 2014

Monica Kreber/Journal Scene Sonic was among multiple restaurants open Wednesday during the ice storm. People without power flocked to restaurants to grab food and escape the cold.

Despite falling limbs, power outages and chilly weather multiple restaurants in the area managed to stay open and serve food to cold and hungry customers.

Thousands of people went with out power Wednesday and braved hazardous roads in order to find a place where they could eat food and stay warm – and pass the time until their power came back on.

Perkins Restaurant and Bakery in Summerville was among the eateries that managed to stay open. Owner Dowm Hawley said her restaurant saw more than 1,000 customers Wednesday.

“I did six times the number of sales I would normally do on a Wednesday,” Hawley said.

Perkins had 13 straight hours of people lined up out the door. The restaurant closed at 9 p.m.

Hawley said she is not sure how the restaurant managed to maintain electricity.

“I think it was probably with prayer,” she said. “We sold out every bakery item we had yesterday.”

In order to keep people entertained while they waited on food Hawley played movies on the television inside the restaurant’s conference room. She said as of noon Thursday the restaurant was still pretty busy, and they have restocked on bakery items.

“I was so glad we were able to service our neighbors,” she said.

The IHOP on Dorchester Road managed to keep power with a generator, said manager Sam Jaounii. People from nearby businesses ended up flocking to the restaurant when their power went out.

Jaounii said IHOP saw 765 customers and was open from 7 a.m. until midnight. On a typical Wednesday they see around 250 people.

“It was very busy,” he said. “It was something we did not even expect.”

Meanwhile at Sonic Drive-In, Lois Kelly, one of the assistant managers, said lines of people were wrapping around the building on Thursday.

“It was outrageous,” she said.

Sonic sold out on cheeseburgers and many people had to wait up to 30 minutes for their food. With many people still without power Thursday, Sonic is staying busy.

Kelly said they managed to stay open until closing time at 11 p.m.

“It was a non-stop busy day,” she said.

Next door at Buffalo Wild Wings general manager Ryan Bromley said he did not keep track of the number of people they served, but some people were waiting for food for up to an hour.

The restaurant managed to not run out of any food. Bromley said he is not sure how they never lost power.

“I guess we were lucky, blessed, whatever you want to call it,” he said. “We were very grateful.”

It appears the strip of businesses Buffalo Wild Wings and Sonic are a part of managed to keep power; Matt’s Pizza Department was able to cater to customers as well, general manager Grant Patrick said.

“It was the busiest day I’ve probably seen in two years,” Patrick said.

Matt’s Pizza stayed open for an extra hour and Patrick said they came close to running out of food. He said he saw “hundreds and hundreds” customers on Wednesday.

“I would say maybe 500-600 people,” he said. “If you knew the size of our restaurant that is quite a feat.”

Matt’s Pizza started doing free beer and drinks while people waited on food because at one point, it became more of a gathering for people without power.

As of Thursday Patrick said the restaurant remains active.

“I think people get the point that we’re here for them,” Patrick said.

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