Some restaurants forced to close due to water issue

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The winter weather and now the precautionary boil water advisory has created hassles for everyone, especially businesses.

One restaurant manager says they don’t know when they’re going to be able to reopen.

For the first time in two days, water is flowing at Ronnie Grisanti’s Italian Restaurant in East Memphis.

The water pressure is low, but executive manager Randi Belisomo says it may be enough to reopen the restaurant after being closed for nearly a week.

MLGW hopes to have boil water advisory lifted within next few days

“So, our employees have been out of work for six solid days,” said Belisomo.

She says they closed last week due to the icy road conditions, and the plan was to welcome customers back Friday.

“We had planned to open, and we got here and there was zero water,” he said. “You can’t make pasta without water. We go through hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of gallons of water a day.”

The Italian restaurant isn’t the only one that’s had to remain closed. Several businesses across the city are experiencing similar water issues.

“I know how many people are struggling. The employees are struggling. The business is struggling,” said Belisomo.

MLGW says crews are working to repair all water leaks that are contributing to the low water pressure seen across Shelby County.

Until then, the precautionary boil water advisory remains in place.

Belisomo says even though they have flowing water, she still has questions.

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“We know that it’s only safe to consume after boiling, but can we wash produce and lettuce with this water? Can we thaw the chicken under the sink with the water? Does that need to be boiled? What about all this ice in the ice machine?” she said.

Belosomo says the most important place in a restaurant is the cleaning section and dishwasher because it is what keeps everyone healthy.

She says now more than ever, local restaurants need the public’s help to bounce back.

“Restaurants are struggling. Our rent stays the same whether we’re in business or not,” said Belisomo.

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