Barry Chin/Globe Staff
The breach in an aqueduct far out in the suburbs was quickly decried as a major inconvenience by people in downtown Boston today.
"It impacts our level of service," Ann Marie Lagrotteria, senior vice president of the Back Bay Restaurant Group, said at bouchee.
The French brasserie on Newbury Street is eighty-sixing tap water on the tables and making iced tea the old-fashioned way -- boiling it.
"Coffee and espresso's fine 'cause it gets up to 200 degrees," Lagrotteria told a manager who called from another restaurant.
Still, Lagrotteria hoped the "boil-water" order might bring in more customers: "Residents in the city might be a little uneasy about cooking at home."
"It's a huge pain," Stephanie Chapman said outside CVS on Newbury Street, a case of water next to her red high heels.
"My boyfriend called me from Shaw's and said, 'What kind of soda do you like?' I said, 'I'm not drinking soda all weekend.'"
Chapman, a 27-year-old who lives in the South End, said the water boil ban put a damper on her dinner at a nearby restaurant.
A big stack of pots teetered in the kitchen, and waiters said they couldn't wash a thing without boiled water.
"I was, like, 'Can I eat this salad?'" she said.
The boil order also limited drink orders at Piattini, a small cafe on Newbury Street: no smoothies (be they strawberry, banana, or white chocolate), no iced coffee, and no water.
"For now, people are clueless. We're the ones telling them they can't get coffee or water," said manager Yasmin McCarthy.
McCarthy said she sent a few employees to pick up bagged ice and bottled water at a local grocery store.
Within hours of the alert, supermarkets and convenience stores were nearly dry.
Customers rummaged through sparkling water and pricey designer bottles at a Trader Joe's and Shaw's in the Back Bay.
At Shaw's in the Prudential Shops, employees stacked some water bottles on top of the salad bar and wheeled in water from stock rooms.
At Trader Joe's on Boylston, even the sparkling water was going fast.
"Fortunately, I have a big pot at home so I can boil it and put it my fridge," said Larkin Ormes, who works at Trader Joe's.
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