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Maryland Businesses Rebounding From Rough Weekend

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Strong winds have severely damaged the facade of the Foong Lin Restaurant on Fairmont Ave. in Bethesda, Md.
Matt Bush
Strong winds have severely damaged the facade of the Foong Lin Restaurant on Fairmont Ave. in Bethesda, Md.

Power is being restored slowly to tens of thousands of residents in Montgomery County. And while people scrambled all weekend just to find somewhere comfortable to beat the heat, Bethesda businesses have also suffered some blows from Friday's storm.

At Bethesda Scooters and Boards, an industrial fan made for a noisy atmosphere when the store reopened just 30 minutes after getting power back on Monday. Co-owner Tyson Plumbtree handed out cups of cold water to those who came in.

"The AC got torn apart on the roof.  So, we have no AC right now — just fans," says Plumbtree. He speculated that, without the fans, the store might be as hot as 120 degrees.

Union Jack's on St. Elmo Ave. got power back Sunday night, allowing them to open for lunch Monday, though with a very scaled-down menu. Gary Ouellette, the restaurant's general manager, says they had to throw out a lot of food, but the biggest hit to business was a missed opportunity.

"Being a British pub, it was the finals of the Euro Cup," says Ouellete. "That was on in the middle of the afternoon. Obviously we took a big hit on that. We have three locations in the area — the other stores that were open were slam packed. Unfortunately, Bethesda missed out on it entirely."

A block away on Fairmont Ave., the sign for the Foong Lin restaurant hung precariously. Owner Fu Cheung says the storm blew off part his restaurant's facade, spilling green glass everywhere.

"I saw the small panel fell down. I went outside, and suddenly the winds became very strong," says Cheung. "The big panel, the whole thing just like a movie... right beside me. I almost got killed."

The inside of the restaurant suffered no damage, so Cheung was able to reopen Monday when the power came back. As for his dangling sign, he's waiting for his insurance company to look at it before he does anything.

"So far, it's not going to fall," says Cheung. "But I can't touch anything. I want to, but I can't. Otherwise, they could say 'What happened?'"

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