By Barrett Seaman —
The Hudson Independent presents “The Supply Chain Crisis Isn’t Just Global; It’s Local,” a series describing how international manufacturing and shipping woes affect everyday life in the rivertowns. Read on for the sixth installment. (Catch up with our most recent installments about Penny Lick Ice Cream and Irvington Hardware.)
Case #6: Demeter’s Tavern & Sports Bar
Demeter (pronounced DEM-eter) was one of the 12 deities who inhabited Mount Olympus — the goddess of harvest, grain and fertility. She was the go-to goddess when there were droughts or plagues or any other threat to the food supply.
Don and Steve Demeter, who run Demeter’s Tavern & Sports Bar on Old White Plains Road in Tarrytown, could use a little help from their namesake goddess. They took over management of the popular venue, founded by their grandfather in 1947, from their father about three decades ago. Like most restaurateurs, they managed to hang on through the worst of the pandemic, but like many, they are now facing spotty supplies and fluctuating prices (mostly up) on a raft of foodstuffs they need to keep their patrons well-watered and well-fed through the various sport seasons.
Now, it’s autumn — well into the thick of football season. One of their patrons might well ask if it’s even possible to watch a football game on TV without wings. Yet the wholesale market for chicken wings has caused Demeter’s to list wings on its menu “at market price,” a strategy more typically applied to fresh lobster, for example.
“We have the same problem with pastrami and corned beef,” says Don Demeter. Eventually, they can find a supplier, but when and at what price? Wings that were $3-a-lb. in normal times, says Steve, who handles much of the food buying, “are now seven dollars and change.” Deep frying oil that used to fetch $16 or $17 for a 35-lb. barrel now costs $52.
Also in short supply: bottles. “There’s plenty of liquor available,” says Don, “but people can’t seem to find enough bottles to put [it] in.” The same applies to beer bottles. How come? The brothers just shake their heads.
It should be no surprise that waiters and kitchen staff are hard to come by as well. Trish Pieratti, the manager who works the bar most days, finds herself serving and bussing tables as well. Steve is often back in the kitchen preparing meals when he should be out schmoozing with customers — and perhaps explaining why the wings cost so much.
If the global supply chain crisis affects your local business, please contact The Hudson Independent.