The usually bustling Pick and Eat on West 177th Street in Upper Manhattan was quiet on Tuesday morning, aside from the patter of sleet hitting its windows.
With snow on the ground, and strong wind gusts blowing any of it in the air in a horizontal direction, there weren’t many customers brave enough to go outside. New York City had essentially called a snow day.
But an empty store didn’t mean Pick and Eat didn’t have any customers.
“On a day like this, our Seamless orders can double,” manager Jennifer Sopkobski said. She has two deliverymen on motor bikes serving customers between 160th and 196th streets.
“Depending on how risky it is for them, I will limit the service area, but today we are doing normal service,” she said.
“We just want to have the best service for our customers no matter what,” she said.
The cafe and lunch spot is a staple in the neighborhood, serving fresh juices, cappuccino, salads, pastas and Spanish house specialties with comfortable seating and free Wi-Fi.
“We never close. You never know what the storm can bring — sometimes it’s a lot of customers. Last year it was crazy in here during a snowstorm,” she said.
But because most of the roads in Washington Heights were not yet cleared of the wintry mix of snow and slush as of 10 a.m., Sopkobski had few people to greet in her. She was cheerful as ever, despite the fact that Winter Storm Stella was making itself heard.
Her attitude appears to have rubbed off on her employees. One of her deliverymen came out of the cold with a smile.
“It’s not so bad out there,” said the man, who would only give his first name, Jose. “I like it because I don’t see it every day. It’s fun.”