By Mary Walton
Several Ocean Grove businesses limped back to life Wednesday morning.
The Pathway Market opened at 9 a.m. Jimmy Patel, the man behind the counter, said the first customer bought a Coke. The little corner store had no power, but it did have lots of canned goods, snacks and even some fresh vegetables.
On Main Avenue people waited patiently in line outside the Barbaric Bean while owners Joe and Margie Parrillo brewed coffee within, using a non-electric French press.
As she added creamer to her coffee, Rita Murphy said she had driven to Ocean Grove from Spring Lake because everything there is closed. “I was hoping one of these little places would be open for coffee and I’ve lucked out.”
At the fire house at Central and Olin, home to two fire companies, people were donating food before it spoiled, and volunteers were preparing it for first responders.
Damaris Adamo, owner of Salt, the Ocean Grove beachfront food service, arrived Tuesday with ice cream she had first donated at summer’s end to the Ocean Grove food pantry and reclaimed before it melted.
She brought it to the fire house and ended up cooking 200 burgers donated by the chain Cheeseburger Cheeseburger.
Many Grovers were out and about Wednesday under sunny skies. Starving Artist co-owner Arnold Teixiera was heading for home with garbage bags to empty out his freezer.
He had already jettisoned food from four refrigerators at the restaurant and was on the lookout for a garbage truck. “I’m out of garbage cans.”
He said the Asbury Park boardwalk branch of Days Ice Cream, Just Another Days, was all but destroyed by the storm surge Monday night. It burst through the plate glass window and hurled all the fixtures to the rear.
Elsewhere around town, Grovers were adjusting to the prospect of a week or longer without power. The fortunate have gas stoves and/or grills, gas hot water heaters and even gas fireplaces.
Will Brandsdorfer and Sherry Phillips of 89 Mt. Hermon Way left home for family in Edison on Monday morning after police erroneously told them everyone in town had to evacuate.
They came home Tuesday to a refrigerator of warming food — but not to worry. “We’re vegetarians,” Sherry said. “We can eat canned food. We have lots and lots of garbanzos.”
With two cars, they are using one as a charging station and reserving the other for an emergency. Will can work from home, Sherry said. So that’s where they will stay “as long as he can keep powering his computers.”