Patrons at Tark's Grill were eating in the dining room and drinking at the bar when the ferocious storm struck Friday night and the Brooklandville restaurant went dark.
The Green Spring Station establishment was among many Baltimore-area eateries and grocery stores that not only lost prime weekend business but also merchandise — food that went bad in the heat.
Tark's reopened Monday with a limited menu and estimated losses of at least $25,000, owner Bill Shriver said.
"We had no ice and nowhere to get ice — try opening a restaurant with no ice," Shriver said. "We were flat-out shut down for two days."
Still, Shriver counts himself fortunate. A vendor lent him a refrigerated truck Saturday, enabling the restaurant to save 75 percent of its food, Shriver said. Power to the business was restored Sunday.
Giant Food Inc., the area's biggest grocery chain, had 60 stores operating on backup generators at the height of the outages and still had eight stores using emergency power Monday, spokesman Jamie Miller said.
While the chain kept all its stores open, it had to throw out perishable stock. "We're still assessing how much product was lost over the past few days," Miller said.
Safeway lost electricity at about a third of its 150 stores in the Baltimore-Washington area, the company reported. Backup generators allowed the stores to stay open, but many goods could not be saved, spokesman Greg Ten Eyck said.
"For perishable goods, refrigerated and frozen foods, after a time without the power, we have to throw that food away, so there's a great deal of waste," he said, calling the loss "substantial."
On Monday, only the Charles Village Safeway still did not have full power, said Ten Eyck, adding that the store would be restocked with perishable food once power was restored.
Most area Wal-Marts had reopened by Monday afternoon, including one at Towson Place shopping center, said Dianna Gee, a spokeswoman for the discount chain.
Gee said perishable items had been lost, but she would not put a dollar amount on the spoiled goods.
"Any time there is a loss of power, we properly dispose of fresh, refrigerated and frozen foods," or divert delivery to other locations, she said.
At a 7-Eleven on Park Heights Avenue, power was still out Monday afternoon when the franchise owned by M.D. Rashid was visited by Cassandra Cary, a Baltimore City health inspector.
Cary told Rashid — who had the front door propped open — that he had to close the store until the power came back on.
"It's horrible," Rashid said. "I can't take it. It's almost three days, and we've lost so much money on the business. The electric company, BGE, they need to find out a better way to fix it earlier than this."
Rashid said he understood the risks involved in operating a store without power — food safety and safety in general. But he chafed at the city's restrictions.
"There is no income, but the expenses are still on," Rashid said. "Payroll is still on; all the other expenses are still on. But there's no income. It's almost three days."
Baltimore Sun reporter Colin Campbell contributed to this article.