The record cold weather has played havoc on pipes at local businesses, with several forced to close in the last week.
The most recent to fall was the new Stewart’s Shop in South Glens Falls, which had to call in a repair crew Wednesday after a pipe froze in the bathroom.
On Tuesday, Rock Hill Bakehouse Café in Glens Falls was closed all day as workers thawed out pipes there.
And last Thursday, a poorly insulated pipe burst in Sweet Lou’s Deli in Schuylerville, causing so much damage that the deli is still closed. The owner hopes to reopen Friday.
Also last week, so many pipes froze at Look TV that the television station had to go off the air. The station is online only for now and hopes to begin broadcasting again Thursday.
At the Rock Hill Bakehouse Café, workers got in early Tuesday morning to discover the furnace had turned off during the holiday. The café is normally closed on Sundays, but was also closed Monday because it was New Year’s Day. By Tuesday, the temperature in the café had fallen so low that the pipes were frozen.
“But they didn’t burst, they just froze up,” said server Chris Murphy.
It took the workers until noon Tuesday to thaw out the pipes. The café closes at 3 p.m., so they decided to simply reopen Wednesday.
That was a better outcome than at Sweet Lou’s Deli in Schuylerville.
A hot-water radiator pipe burst behind the counter last Thursday. Luckily, workers were still there when the pipe froze and burst.
“Once everyone started to tell me the radiator was spouting water, I ran down and cut the main water supply,” said owner Louis Maggiore.
But the water had already damaged the ceilings of Cake by Alissa, which is downstairs. Then, while a plumber fixed the pipe, the third-floor pipes burst, damaging the bakery kitchen and shorting out a cooler. The 1800s building is so old it is not properly insulated, he said.
He had to throw out the cooler and the food inside, but he put the situation in the best possible light.
“At least all the food will be fresh when I open,” he said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the cold water pipes in the building were still frozen, but Maggiore was hard at work and hoping to reopen Friday.
While he was thawing out pipes, a customer called to say her mother was in the hospital and fading fast. She wanted a corned beef sandwich. Maggiore made it at once.
“I think about that poor lady that’s in the hospital. All she wants is a corned beef sandwich, and my pipes didn’t seem so much,” he said. “The daughter reached into her purse and I said, ‘Listen, you are not paying for this sandwich.’ ”
Making one person’s day with his food made him happy after days of disaster, he said.
“I’m telling you, it made me feel so good,” he said. “This will not defeat us.”
But he is also concerned that his old building won’t be able to keep out the deep chill coming this weekend.
“Maybe I will sleep on the floor and make sure it’s working,” he said.