Dawa Bhuti, Dawa’s Restaurant
It’s been almost three weeks since Dawa Bhuti has served a hot bowl of authentic Himalayan noodle soup.
An untimely gas leak in the Woodside business has left the eatery with a limited menu after being closed for 10 days.
Bhuti, who has run the business with her father since 2016, says she hopes to have a full menu and kitchen running at full speed by Thanksgiving. In the meantime, she’s had to make due with electric appliances inside the restaurant as temperatures start to fall outside.
“There’s not a lot of hot food,” she said. “We’ve had to get creative. But since it’s gotten colder around the same time, people are coming in and wanting some of the dishes we usually always have.”
The co-owner of the restaurant says she was notified of the gas leak on November 2 by her landlord. Eventually 311 was called and the Fire Department arrived shortly after. Con Edison was also notified and the gas was subsequently shut off.
Bhuti says she purchased an electric flat top for $600 to prepare hot food like Thenthuk soup and Himalayan-style dumplings. She says she is still paying her employees, insisting the problem is not their fault.
Nonetheless, when Bhuti checks her recent sales reports, she ponders whether it is worth staying open as the bureaucratic process continues, with a permit from the Buildings Department waiting to be filed and processed.
The restaurant closed temporarily last year due to the pandemic. Its reopening in May 2020 featured the addition of an outdoor dining option.
“To be honest, we got hit worse from this than during the pandemic,” said Bhuti. “In the pandemic, I can be creative and I at least have gas, an oven and I can still bake. But when there’s no food, there’s no customers.”
Dawa’s is located at 51-18 Skillman Avenue in Woodside. The restaurant has temporary business hours of 1 to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.