Manhattan businesses hit hard by unexpected steam leak

The build-up to New Year's Eve is usually one of the busiest periods for Ambassador Wines and Spirits, but that's not the case right now.

The store is at the corner of East 54th and 2nd Avenue, right in the middle of the cleanup of Wednesday's steam leak.

2nd Avenue and the lower 50's streets remain blocked off. Part of the perimeter was established Wednesday morning.

Around 2 a.m., Con Ed officials say steam started spewing from a pipe near E 52nd and 2nd Avenue. Crews quickly cordoned off the area blocks in each direction amidst fears of asbestos contamination.

Officials say air quality tests came back negative, but the cleanup is expected to take days.

Inside Louie's Chicken, there were more employees than customers for the second straight day.

Philips understands why the area is closed, but as a small business owner, he's just hoping it reopens soon.

"We don't know how long it's going to be. If I can get a Friday, Saturday we're ok. But if we're going to lose the weekend, it's well over $100,000 for me," Phillips said.