Construction Cuts Customers to Local Lunch Spot - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Construction Cuts Customers to Local Lunch Spot

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A local business is hurting as a construction project keeps a nearby road closed.

As the city continues to rebuild a bridge off of Glenwood Park Avenue, Dee's Delicatessen is losing customers.

The lunch rush at Dee's has dwindled to a trickle.

"To come to work everyday and know that you're not gonna turn a profit is a little bit difficult," said Dee Barickman, who owns the business with her husband.

It's not because Erie has lost its taste for subs and salads; the section of Glenwood Park Avenue just south of the deli has been closed since the beginning of June.

Barickman was told it would reopen a couple weeks later, but plans changed, stopping up the usual flow of customers.

"Initially I was under the impression that the road was only gonna be closed for three weeks, and then perhaps it was gonna be delayed to six weeks, and then... after I got back from vacation I was told that it's not gonna open 'til October or November," said Barickman.

Dee's has loyal customers that still come in for their well- known sandwiches and fresh baked cookies, but for some the detour is too long to fit in their half hour lunch break. Many have had to find a new spot, cutting customer traffic by as much as 40%.

"A man came in and he was pretty distraught, he came from 30th and State and he said it took him 30 minutes to get down through this traffic light," Barickman recalled.  "I don't think we'll be seeing him again 'til the roads open up, and there's many people that come from upper Peach Street that's the same deal, they only have a half an hour," she said. "They've told us that they're not coming right now because it is closed."

An influx of business during Roar on the Shore kept the staff hopeful.

"The two days were open for the bike rally to come down through and we did an amazing amount of business in those two days, and we were feeling a lot of relief in pressure," said Barickman.

But she still worries about what will happen when the road is finally open for good.

"One of our concerns is after six months of finding other placers to eat perhaps they'll be comfortable in their new places and maybe they won't come back," Barickman said.

Until then, she's thankful for the regulars.

"We do have a lot of loyal customers," she said. "I appreciate the people that do come because they're keeping us in business."

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