NEW YORK — The trains were running, but retail ground to a halt on Monday as Grand Central Terminal experienced a power outage.
The hallways housing retailers, including the Lexington Passage and Shuttle Passage, were pitch dark and cordoned off by ropes. New York city police officers, soldiers and members of the National Guard stood in front of the ropes, directing shoppers to an exit on 42nd Street. Metropolitan Transit Authority police at the terminal said stores would remain closed on Monday.
Grand Central’s main concourse, with its clock on top of the information desk and zodiac-painted ceiling, was more dimly lit than usual. Passengers who spilled into the station from trains arriving in Manhattan looked around trying to orient themselves while others took selfies of the occasion.
A notice on the MTA’s Web site on Monday afternoon said the lower level was closed until further notice due to a water pipe break. The massive transportation hub, through which 750,000 people pass daily, lost its power at around 9:30 a.m. Train service wasn’t impacted because Metro North was adhering to a lighter holiday schedule for Presidents’ Day. The surcharge for purchasing a ticket on the train was waived since some ticket machines weren’t working.
The Apple store, which is accessed from a staircase in the main concourse, was closed as were Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse and Cipriani Dolci on the opposite balcony.
Other retailers left in the dark included Diptyque, Jo Malone, Origins, Papyrus, Swatch, Innasense, Tumi, Lacrasia, Vince Camuto, L’Occitane, MAC and Moleskine, Tia’s Place, Little Missmatched and Cursive. Kenneth Cole, which occupied one of the stores facing 42nd Street, closed some time ago. A sign in the window of Banana Republic said that it was temporarily closed.
The Grand Central Market, where Dishes at Home, Wild Edibles, Zaro Family Bakery and Eli Zabar’s Bread and Pastry are housed, was shuttered, although employees were allowed in to retrieve coats they left there before the power outage started.
The lower level is crowded with eateries, including Shake Shack, Junior’s, the Oyster Bar, Tri Tip Grill, Dishes and Magnolia Bakery.