It was on the south side of the square at that time where the
popular Guzzardo's Italian Villa was in the midst of serving a full
house of diners, including several companies' Christmas parties.
Normally, one would think that without power, a restaurant would
simply apologize to patrons and send everyone home, but that isn't
how this restaurant and these people think.
As soon as the power went out, the Guzzardos and all their
employees started lighting candles.
They ran a string of them on the stairway so patrons would be
able to find their footing. Flashlights were hung above the salad
bar, and staff members all carried one so they could read the food
orders and make sure each diner got what they ordered.
In the kitchen, Nick Guzzardo could be heard yelling for someone
to hold a flashlight over carryouts so he could see if he had the
right one for a pickup patron. The kitchen, which still could cook
and prepare meals, worked at a furious pace as helpers ran back and
forth shedding light where needed to make certain everything was
being prepared to Guzzardo standards.
With electricity out, kitchen staff had to run meals up and down
the stairway rather than send them up in the dumbwaiter. They did so
like they were on a track team.
Bills had to be handled manually, and although the candles shed
some much-needed light, it was still difficult for staff and patrons
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But all in all, nothing outside of lighting changed. The Guzzardos
were still as cheerful and friendly as ever; staff rushed about
without a single complaint on their lips; and, remarkably, everyone
was served their excellent dinners, perfectly prepared, in no more
time than usual.
It was as if a challenge had been given to the restaurant to get
a job done in very trying circumstances, and rather than just call
it a night and disappoint their valued patrons, they went the extra
mile to continue business as usual.
As the evening deepened, it was also remarkable to see patrons
continue to come into the restaurant, knowing that the only lighting
was by candlelight. They had come together to be with family and
friends during these days of Christmas. They had decided that the
darkness would not be allowed to make their evening a
disappointment. The Guzzardo family and their great staff made sure