AUBURN (CBS13) — In August, John Kim opened the doors to his ramen and sushi restaurant Jinme off of Highway 49 in Auburn. The restauranteur says the PG&E power shutoffs have now cut into his bottom line.
“We lost about three, four days of supplies so this business can’t sustain this way. This is the second time this month. It’s hard,” Kim said. “We’re going to lose our staff, food products, customers and you cannot pay the bills.”
Kim’s restaurant got power back on Wednesday from the Oct. 29 shutoff, but he can’t reopen until Thursday. He told CBS13 he has to spend thousands of dollars on a major addition to his restaurant in hopes of surviving another shutoff.
“I talked to my landlord about setting a permanent generator up,” Kim said. “It’ll cost about $12,000 to $15,000, but if that’s the only way to survive.”
Kim said he estimated he lost anywhere from $10-$20,000 in food that had to be thrown out during the shutoffs.
Other businesses in Auburn that did not have as dire situations as Jinme. Co-owner of the Auburn Ale House Lisa Ford said her restaurant didn’t lose power in the Old Town Auburn.
She said the restaurant did see an uptick in business during the shutoffs with some customers coming in to charge electronic devices, among other things.
“We definitely see that they’re grateful that they have a place to come and get a hot meal and a cold beer,” Ford said. “But they’re frustrated and their patience is a little bit shot.”
Ford said that she knows that others like Kim haven’t been as lucky during the shutoffs.
“I definitely feel extremely grateful and concerned for the people who aren’t in a power grid that is still turned on,” Ford said.
Both restaurant owners want something to be done to stop other possible shutoffs regardless of their individual situations.
“Get a plan! This is absurd,” Kim said.
“I feel like we as a state really need to get this figured out,” Ford said.