A blackout which closed businesses in the city centre around Black Lion Street has now ended.
Restaurants Jamie’s Italian and Pho had to close. The Lanes Car Park and the Brighton and Hove City Council customer service centre at Bartholomew House were closed but have now been reopened.
Sarah Tinker-Taylor, general manager of Jamie’s Italian, said: “The lights all went out and fire alarms started going off. It looked like there was a complete blackout in the whole street.
“We had to send customers away without paying because the tills weren’t working. What with the graduation ceremonies around the corner at The Dome we should have had a very busy lunchtime.
“We have lost at least £2,000.”
She added that as staff had been sent home the restaurant would not be able to reopen until 4pm.
Roadworks were being carried out in Black Lion Street and King’s Road by Southern Water.
A spokesman for network operator UK Power Networks said: “At 12.45pm today, 212 customers in the King’s Road area of Brighton experienced an interruption to their power supplies because of third-party damage to a high-voltage underground electricity cable.
“UK Power Networks engineers restored supplies to the first 39 customers at 1.54pm and to the final 173 customers at 2.08pm.
“We know how difficult it can be to lose power and hope customers appreciate we worked as quickly and as safely as possible to restore power.”