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Bethesda Gets Back To Business

By Aaron Kraut

Tuesday - 10/30/2012, 12:45pm  ET

Tiran Hill was expecting a power outage and perhaps some flooding when he walked into work today.

Instead, the general manager at BGR The Burger Joint (4827 Fairmont Ave.), found the power was on and the restaurant was in better shape than expected after Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on other areas of the East Coast.

The only thing off was a small water leak from the roof in the bathroom.

After closing because of Sandy, BGR was back open on Tuesday, one of many Bethesda businesses opening back up after a rare day off on Monday.

Most shops and restaurants on Bethesda Row were open, or opening at least for part of the day Tuesday. Most Woodmont Triangle businesses were open as well.

Don Battista, general manager of Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery (7900 Norfolk Ave.), said the restaurant’s headquarters told him he had to close Monday. It was the first time he could remember Rock Bottom closing because of weather in his 13 years there.

Not everybody closed down. Battista’s around-the-corner competitor Union Jack’s (4915 Saint Elmo Ave.) took advantage of being one of the only Bethesda bars open to serve a rush of customers off from their own jobs.

And of course, there was Tastee Diner (7731 Woodmont Ave.), the venerable all-day breakfast joint that has become a gathering place when Bethesda loses power.

“We always stay open no matter what,” said manager Beth Cox. Her staff was dealing with a larger than usual lunch crowd on Tuesday. With the federal government shut down for the second day and Metro closed until this afternoon, many residents stayed close.

One local economist estimated more than $35 billion in economic losses stemming from the storm, some of it from two days of lost business.

But as Sandy left town, leaving some rain, minor damage and a smattering of power outages, Hill felt fortunate.

“I was expecting a lot worse than this,” he said.

Flickr photo by ehpien