Sandy forces El Greco, Cherry Hill to toss out tons of food

Workers at Cherry Hill Gourmet say that they can't stock their shelves until the power comes back on.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Emmons Avenue’s businesses are frozen without refrigeration.

The El Greco Diner, as well as the Cherry Hill grocery inside the historic Lundy’s Restaurant, threw out tons of spoiled food on Friday as Sheepshead Bay businesses marked a full week without power and refrigeration.

“We’ve filled five dumpsters full of food that’s just gone,” said Cherry Hills general manager Uzi Mizrahi.
The dumpster Mizrahi refers to is a 22-foot-long, eight-foot-wide, and six-foot-high steel box capable of bearing 30-cubic-yards of refuse — bins that are recommended to homeowners demolishing their garages.

No one was inside Cherry Hill at the height of Hurricane Sandy, so its unsure how high the water rose in Sheepshead Bay’s only landmarked structure. But its clear that the building sustained substantial flooding, workers say.

Despite the damage, Mizrahi says he could open immediately — if he had power.

“If we had power, we’d open right now,” Mizrahi explained. “It all depends on power. We’ve got a lot money riding on our refrigerators turning back on.”

The El Greco Diner near Sheepshead Bay Road lost less food — they only filled two dumpsters — but they’ve potentially lost more in appliances.

The diner’s basement — which is stocked with a walk-in refrigerator — was still inundated with 8-feet of water on Friday, according to owner Peter Venetoklis.

“Once we get electricity, we can start replacing the appliances,” said Venetoklis. “The refrigerator, compressor; I don’t think anything works.”

Still, Veletoklis is in remarkable spirits.

“What am I gonna do? I can cry into milk, or take care of business,” he said.

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

Dirty job: Workers at the El Greco Diner on Emmons Avenue work to toss out hundreds of crates of food, which spoiled after their refridgerators were left without power for days.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

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