‘Blackout’ Special Cannon Street Grill Owner Shares Storm Story On National Radio
Jerry Schrader, owner of the Cannon Street Grill in Browne’s Addition, had his moment of fame.
Schrader was interviewed live by ABC radio at his cafe the morning after the ice storm.
He was offering “blackout eggs and ham” as the morning special, he said, but the reality of doing business without electricity short-circuited any plans for serving customers.
Two customers ate breakfast before Schrader closed. Power was restored on Saturday.
Meanwhile, he estimated his loss at about $2,000, including all of the meats, vegetables and garnishes that were prepared for that day’s cooking.
He said he lost revenue from being closed, and his workers lost their wages.
Like many residents, Schrader has an up-beat attitude. If the storm had hit during the Christmas season, he said, he would have lost more business.
He also has insurance that should cover some of the loss of food.
“It could have been a lot worse,” he said.
Tropical fish saved
Steve Ballinger, who sells tropical saltwater fish from his home near 14th and Freya, slept only seven hours while the power was out.
He had 14 tanks and 150 fish worth thousands of dollars at stake.
Ballinger said he stayed awake so he could keep a small electrical generator filled with fuel. The generator ran the aerating pumps and heaters for the tanks.
He used a propane heater keep the air in his house warm.
While he was busy saving his fish, he fielded a steady stream of calls from customers wanting advice on saving their fish.
Power was restored Saturday.
Food losses hit grocers
Executives at Rosauers Supermarkets are still tallying up their losses from last week’s storm.
They did their best to save frozen and perishable food, but some was lost.
Refrigerator and freezer trucks were parked at the stores so food could be stored in them until power came back on.
“It was a tough week,” said Bill Haraldson, executive vice president.
The biggest single loss came when a freezer trailer broke down outside the Rosauers-owned Super 1 Foods at Manito Center.
All of the store’s ice cream was put inside the trailer but then thawed when a bearing burned out in the freezer unit.
The melting ice cream was taken to the garbage incinerator, Haraldson said.
He estimated the loss in ruined ice cream alone at $13,000.
Perishable produce was moved to stores that stayed open, but much of it was lost, Haraldson said.
Pamela Chivers, manager at the Albertsons store at 37th and Grand Boulevard, said she took similar measures to save the store’s food, including the use of refrigerator and freezer trailers. Power was restored to her store last Sunday, the sixth day of the outage.
During the blackout, Albertsons kept the store open with generators and and provided hot coffee and soup to customers. Some regular customers received free grocery delivery.