Business as Unusual
With power outages still widespread in Red Bank and Shrewsbury, businesses give it a go anyway.
On the Monmouth Street sidewalk, Charles Adjmi walked back and forth with a hand clutching a dozen or so cell phone chargers raised above his head.
With power still out at his Red Bank Wireless shop days after Hurricane Sandy tore a path through New Jersey and with no restoration date being offered by Jersey Central Power and Light, Adjmi thought, why not, let's try to make some money.
All throughout Red Bank, businesses were giving it a go Thursday, many of them reopening without power in an effort to return back to normal, well, as close as normal as they can get. With equally powerless residents roaming the downtown looking for a solution to their power problem or simply a way to beat the boredom, local businesses were more than happy to oblige.
"It's kind of crazy," an enthusiastic Adjmi said. "I only came to sell car chargers. I have no power, but I'm still coming to work."
As of early Thursday afternoon, power restoration throughout Red Bank was sporadic with some businesses reporting that they were charged and open for business and others reporting that they were just open for business.
At Starbucks, eager residents plugged in laptops and cellphones into the newly juiced coffee shop while just down the road, a crowd of more than a dozen stood in line waiting to get into the still darkened Mr. Pizza Slice, operating with a gas pizza oven and griddle.
With a sign taped to the front window offering operating hours of "11 a.m. til all gone," customers entered and happily exited with whole pies.
"I've got pizza and hot dogs," Mr. Pizza Slice owner Steve Napolitani said. "We'll make it till its gone, then we'll make more."
With complete power restoration not expected for some time - JCP&L is reporting that it could takes as long as two weeks in some areas - businesses operating with or without power were more than excited to advertise their openings after days of being closed.
Store owners from the Galleria were inviting residents to come on by grab a bite and hook up to an outlet and still more restaurants and bars downtown were offering drinks and eats from limited menus to those willing to make the pre-curfew trek downtown. Facebook and Twitter were abuzz with businesses inviting customers downtown.
"We're doing what we can," Adjmi said.