Restaurants Forced to Cancel Easter Reservations After Hartford, West Hartford Power Outages

Power outages after an underground fire and explosion on Farmington Avenue in Hartford forced several West Hartford Center restaurants to close on Easter Sunday, one of the busiest Sundays for business of the year, and cancel reservations.

“It’s the first time in all the years we’ve been around that I’ve seen the center lose power,” said Aaron Sarwar, the manager of Shish Kebab House of Afghanistan on LaSalle Road.

While the Easter decorations were still up to welcome people to the Shish Kebab House of Afghanistan, there were no customers walking through the door. The  restaurant and many others in West Hartford Center could not open because they did not have power.

The estimated restoration time kept getting pushed later and later, forcing some restaurants to close for the day.

That could mean a lot of money lost and holiday food inventory wasted for restaurants expecting a lot of families to come for Easter brunch and dinner. However some restaurants salvaged their food by bringing in refrigerator trucks or generators.

A'vert Brasserie, located on LaSalle Road in West Hartford Center, was fully booked with reservations for brunch and dinner and also had to shut down the restaurant and cancel all reservations.

Dorjan Puka, chef and owner of Treva Restaurant & Bar, the sister restaurant to A'vert, said that the only Sunday busier than Easter is Mother's Day. Treva had 300 reservations booked for Easter Sunday and expected to serve 400 guests total, but the restaurant had to close because of the power outages and call each customer individually to cancel reservations. Snow days are better than this situation, he said.

"You know, you prepare, you get all the stuff, the food you need, and everybody and find out you don’t the power you can’t really open the door,” Puka said.

The restaurant is keeping all its food in a refrigerator truck so it won't go back. Eversource last said the power should be restored by 7 p.m., but Puka said he was told the restaurant should have its power back by 8:30 p.m. He plans to open up for the remainder of his operating hours once the power is back on.

In the meantime, Puka, who also owns Artisanal Burger Company in Manchester, is recommending patrons consider moving their Easter reservations there.

Max Burger and Max's Oyster Bar in West Hartford Center also closed due to the power outages. Shish Kebab House said that if they get power back on by 7 p.m., they'll open the bar for the remaining business hours.

“It was such a tough winter just right when we’re expecting you know to get back to, into a normal routine this occurs and we lose, we lose another full night,” Sarwar said.

Did you have plans to eat out Easter Sunday in Hartford or West Hartford? Where did you go instead if the restaurant was closed? Tell us in the comments. 

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