Road construction hurting South Hill businesses

Road construction hurting South Hill businesses

What if your business was losing money and there was nothing you could do about it? That's what's happening to some businesses along Monroe and Lincoln streets from 7th to 17th due to city road construction.

As a server at Picabu Bistro, Austin Rimmer depends on people coming in the door to pay his bills. On a typical Friday he makes close to $200 in tips. But since the construction started he said he made $80 in tips Friday.

Down the street, Huckleberry's Market is taking a hit too. Usually about 1,000 customers come through daily but lately its closer to 800.

"We've gotten a lot of phone calls, where are you? How do I get there? So it's been difficult for people to find us," Huckleberry's store manager Monica Hampton said.

"The main issue is there is no indication or directions as to how to get here detours to take to completely bypass the street," Rimmer said.

Huckleberry's has put a map on their website while Picabu Bistro is taking 30 calls a day giving customers directions, but even so they are barely filling the tables.

Bistro owner Jane Edwards said she's seen a big difference in their sales, which is impacting the bistro's bottom line.

"We're just going to have to trim back some hours. Everybody's just going to try to take a little bit off so that no one person has to take it all," she said.

"Starting Tuesday I'm looking for a second job to try to make up the difference," Rimmer said.

Lincoln and Monroe are expected to be closed until the end of October, so Edwards spoke with a city official about putting in more detour signs so that customers could find her restaurant and the city's response was 'It's only going to be a few months.'

Edwards and her husband are making the detour signs themselves.