Construction and COVID-19 tough combo for Corydon businesses
WINNIPEG -- It’s no secret that many businesses have been struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic; a few have even had to permanently close their doors.
But for one Corydon Avenue business, there’s another issue hurting their bottom line, construction.
Jarrett Bargen, manager of Falafel Place on Corydon Avenue, said they shut down the restaurant for two-and-a-half months during the pandemic.
When they reopened, they went from twenty-two tables to seven.
“Maybe a drop in about 60 per cent of our regular business from previous years, so it’s affecting us a great deal,” said Bargen.
But space isn’t only limited inside, the street outside has been taken over by construction.
“Because [people] see the construction, they don’t even know if we’re open because we always used to have people park on the streets right in front of the restaurant,” said Bargen.
He said the impact of both construction and COVID-19 has been difficult for the restaurant to endure.
Down the street from Falafel Place, James Cassels, the owner of Mighty Comics, said he’s seen a minor drop in foot traffic due to construction.
“I have good supplementary access. I have parking in the back,” said Cassels. “It’s just a temporary inconvenience. It’s not like they’re ripping up the entire road in front of me and all the side streets as well.”
Cassel said road work needs to be done and thinks the city should have started construction earlier when the majority of businesses were shut down.
In a statement to CTV News, the City of Winnipeg said:
“The City makes every effort to coordinate construction projects and mitigate their impacts as much as possible and is committed to communicating directly with affected businesses and residents.”
“We appreciate Winnipeggers’ patience as we work to complete these important infrastructure projects.”
The city said it typically provides 1-month advance notice to residents and businesses about neighbourhood projects and a 1-week notice in advance of construction.
Bargen said Falafel Place has a loyal base of customers, and they’ve been a great help to the restaurant during this challenging summer.
But the construction isn’t going to be finished anytime soon.
“September or October of this year,” said Bargen. “So, we can expect many more months of this hurting the business.”