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RVC Restaurants Flourishing as Residents Seek Food, Power

Restaurants looking to accommodate residents any way possible.

An impressive nightlife culture usually keeps the restaurants in Rockville Centre Village busy during the week and packed on weekends, but the recent devastation of Hurricane Sandy has local eateries filled with residents looking for more than just food.

"It's been crazy. No one around here has any power," Press 195 Owner Jim Volz said Thursday. "... A guy said this morning that we looked like the Apple store, every outlet has a phone or a laptop in it. People are coming to eat and coming to charge up."

Volz said that his restaurant on N Park Avenue never lost power, but closed Monday afternoon when the weather started to worsen.

When Volz and his staff returned Tuesday morning to open, he said they were ready to go.

"We came back Tuesday morning and we were up and running," he said. "It was pretty smooth. ... We had power, which was the most important thing."

Over on the north side of Sunrise Highway, George Martin manager Susanne Raspanti was readying her restaurant for a Tuesday opening.

Like Press 195, Raspanti said her restaurant never lost power and closed for Monday, but did what they could to accommodate residents Tuesday afternoon.

"We opened around 1 p.m. on Tuesday," Raspanti said. "It was hard getting all of the staff in. But we did have a limited amount of food, so we had a limited menu and we ran it until we ran out of food at like 8:30 p.m."

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Raspanti said George Martin didn't open for lunch Wednesday because the restaurant was waiting on more deliveries. Once everything was prepared later in the day, they opened with a bigger menu, but it was still limited.

All of the purveyors came in Thursday, so George Martin was able to go with its first full menu of the week.

The Rockville Centre resident said getting staff into work was one problem she encountered during the week. Another, along with receiving it on time, was the freshness of the food.

"We don't want the fish guy to be giving us fish that's been sitting there since Sunday," Raspanti said. "... we wanted to get fresh product in."

Back at Press 195, Volz said there were some "hiccups" with his products coming in, but the owner said it was understandable.

Volz said his biggest problem was deliveries, which the restaurant has halted for the moment for two reasons.

"One, it takes the guys 45 minutes to do one delivery," Volz said. "The second thing is getting gas [for the deliverymen]. They've been going a couple of days and they can't get gas."

Other than that, Volz, who was expecting a large wedding rehearsal dinner party Thursday night, said the restaurant has been as busy as ever.

"Monday and Tuesday have turned into Saturday night," he said.

Back up N Park Avenue, Raspanti said George Martin has been "very busy" with members of the local community she is used to seeing.

"It's a very big community," she said. "Everybody's talking to everybody. ... The regular people are coming and everybody is taking comfort in each other's sob stories. People are good."

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