Back Bay restaurants, hotels and businesses were reeling yesterday from Tuesday’s generator explosion that caused widespread blackouts.
Many establishments were forced to close Tuesday night and into yesterday because of ongoing power outages, while others were scrambling to resume business as usual and cash in on the opportunity.
The Rattlesnake Bar and Grill and the Parish Cafe on Boylston Street, which were shuttered around 8 p.m. on Tuesday, were jammed with lunch patrons yesterday after gaining power back in the morning.
“Everyone is coming down to this end of Boylston,” said Jay Gardner, owner of the Rattlesnake. “This is actually benefitting us.”
Gardner said they lost a large function and had to clear out a full dining room after the fire on Tuesday. They worked through the night making sure food supplies didn’t spoil by putting everything on dry ice, he said.
Boston health inspectors visited all of the effected restaurants yesterday, from Back Bay to Chinatown, to make sure food was put on dry ice if the power was still off and to educate owners about the protocol for spoiled food disposal, said Lisa Timberlake, spokeswoman for the Boston Inspectional Services Department.
As of yesterday afternoon, no major citations had been issued, said Timberlake.
It is unclear at this point, what the economic loss will be to the scores of businesses that were forced to turn away customers over the past two days.
“When you think about the impact on the Hynes Convention Center, the restaurants and hotels, it’s certainly going to have an impact. It’s just too early to tell to what extent,” said Charles Rudnick, vice president of communications for the Boston Chamber of Commerce.
Restoration effort ‘intensive’
While electricity was restored to some of the thousands of customers without power since Tuesday’s transformer fire, other NStar customers went a second night without juice.
As of last night, the city provided an update that said it expected to have power restored to the Prudential and Copley Square area at 4 a.m. today.
At the height of the chaos, about 20,000 NStar customers were without power. That number was about 10,000 yesterday as crews scrambled to hook up some 50 generators throughout the neighborhood.
Joe Nolan, an NStar official, said yesterday that the work to turn the power back on is “labor intensive” and that the substation where the fire broke out was a critical one for the city.