Restaurants frustrated by weekslong Central Avenue road closure
The city of Charlotte says crews still need more time to replace two wastewater pipes beneath a busy stretch of Central Avenue in east Charlotte.
The road has been closed in both directions at a railroad crossing near Hawthorne Lane since Feb. 7. Initially, the city estimated the road would stay closed for at least two weeks, then extended that estimate to March 3.
The deadline was again extended on Friday. In a tweet, Charlotte Water said the road would remain closed until sometime in mid-March.
The tweet said crews had finished installing new pipe beneath the street but still had to replace an old brick manhole and finish other stormwater repairs.
Some nearby restaurants said they've lost business because of the delayed, weekslong closure, including Bistro La Bon, which is adjacent to the railroad crossing.
"If we do 100 people a night, now we do 30 or 40 people," said Thomas Camps, Bistro La Bon's general manager.
Camps also said crews initially blocked access to the restaurant's parking lot, and delivery and garbage collection trucks were unable to access the restaurant as well, meaning the restaurant couldn't get trash picked up for nearly two weeks, and delivery drivers had to carry deliveries nearly a block on foot to the restaurant.
Another nearby restaurant, Moo & Brew, also said the road closure has kept customers away.
"It's definitely put a strain on our business," said Moo & Brew's Director of Operations Tim Bowen. "We're probably down 30% year over year."
He said crews also blocked access to Moo & Brews' parking lot while completing some work and said the same stretch of Central Avenue had been closed in June and August 2022.
"The one in June was very hard on us because we lost water, so we couldn't open at all. There was a sinkhole that came up in the middle of the road, so there was a river down Central Avenue. It was pretty interesting," Bowen said.
Not all nearby restaurants were experiencing the same level of impact. The nearby brunch spot Snooze was bustling with diners on Saturday. A host said the restaurant had not seen much impact, and staff were too busy for an interview.
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