Wheelers: We’ll be wheeling again

We’ll be back: The Sheepshead Bay burger-and-beer staple, Wheeler’s Restaurant, will return better than ever — despite taking serious damage from Hurricane Sandy.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

The kitchen’s gone, the equipment’s gone, and the floor is gone, but Wheeler’s Restaurant will be back, according to the Sheepshead Bay staple’s proprietor.

“There’s no time table right now, but we are continuing to work at it, but you can expect to see Wheeler’s in the future,” said owner Mike Starace.

Like many Sheepshead Bay Road businesses, Wheeler’s was flooded when Hurricane Sandy’s 14-foot tidal surges hit the area. The floodwaters damaged the floor, warped the wood paneling and tossed about heavy objects as if they were made of cardboard.

“I have an eight-foot bottle cooler which holds about 40 cases of beer and it was flipped on its side,” said Starace. “It would take five men to move that, without the beer in it.”

Taking stock of his losses, Starace found there was only one thing that he could salvage from his bar and restaurant — the bar itself.

“It’s OK,” Starace assured this paper. “But the tables and chairs took a beating. The equipment is all shot, the stoves, refrigerators, dish washer all need to be replaced, but we’ll be back.”

Currently, the beloved purveyor of burgers and booze is working on getting power back to his sockets, and hopes for a late December opening.

He plans on using the down time to make Wheeler’s better than it’s ever been.

“It will be better than ever and the prices will not go up, ” said Starace. “The cheeseburgers will remain the same, good as ever.”

Wheelers is just one of a dozen Sheepshead Bay restaurants still bailing out after Hurricane Sandy’s visit. Many restaurateurs on Emmons Avenue either remain without power or cleaning out their flooded eateries.

Across from the Sheepshead Bay UA movie theater on Harkness Street, the TGI Friday’s remains closed. Jordan’s Lobster Dock opened for the first time since the storm on Saturday, although the beer taps weren’t working. Randazzo’s Clam Bar on Emmons Avenue remained close, but owner Rosemary Randazzo told the blog Sheepshead Bites that they will reopen before Thanksgiving.

“There will be a re-grand opening,” Randazzo told the local news blog. “Soon as we get everything out, we’ll bring in new things.”

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