Power shutdown takes toll on San Jose businesses, workers

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SAN JOSE (KRON) — Round Table Pizza Manager Nate Kennedy was tossing out spoiled toppings and salad dressing Friday as his crew got ready to reopen.

The restaurant was closed because of the lack of power on Thursday, the busiest day of the week.

Kennedy managed to save most of the perishables.

“Some of the stuff we had to throw out,” Kennedy said. “The stuff in our main cooler, we had to rent a truck and take that to some of our other locations, which took up basically the whole morning and by the time we got back here about 3, the power came back on, so we spent the other half of the day going to the other stores and bringing everything back here.”

A similar strategy was employed by the KFC, Lee’s Sandwiches shop and other restaurants at San Jose’s Evergreen Plaza at the corner of Aborn and White roads.

At Yuri Sushi, owner Paul Park is also out a few thousand dollars but he too managed to save most of his highly perishable inventory.

“I think by renting a generator to run the freezers and refrigerators — but we’re still closed Thursday and I didn’t know how long the power was out, so just the whole ordeal was really, really stressful,” Park said

Nearby residents were doing the same thing — retrieving food they had moved out a day earlier and still grousing about the shutdown.

“I think [the power shutdown] was overreacting and being mishandled all around,” one resident said.

As for the cost to the City of San Jose for extra staffing during the shutdown?

“An initial estimate of the cost to the city so far in dealing with this public safety power shutdown is around a half-million dollars,” Mayor Sam Liccardo said.

Business was a little slow at the Round Table on Friday as customers no doubt were not aware it had reopened.

Kennedy said the shutdown cost the restaurant several thousand dollars and eight employees lost a day’s worth of pay.

“We couldn’t open obviously, so I had to call everybody and tell them there’s no work today, which is unfortunate because a lot of those people rely on this job and rely on those hours,” Kennedy said.

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