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"Happy to have customers" - Businesses along Railroad Avenue see uptick two weeks after road reopening

The 45-day hard closure made it tough for some businesses to stay open
"Happy to have customers": Businesses along Railroad Avenue see uptick two weeks after road reopening
Posted at 5:31 PM, Jul 03, 2024
  • It's been two weeks since Railroad Avenue in College Town reopened to traffic.
  • Local businesses say they appreciate the customers that have come back, though it's still not at pre-construction levels.
  • Watch now to hear one business owner describe why they had to close shop for a month.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

It's been about two weeks since Railroad Avenue reopened to traffic.

I'm Alberto Camargo, your College Town neighborhood reporter.

I'm checking back in with businesses along the road to see if the re-opening has helped with their flow of customers.

I've been following the progress of this road work for months. See my video explaining the need for the work below:

Railroad Ave. improvements starting this month; see what's in the works

Traffic has been flowing as normal since the 45-day hard closure ended.

But has that also been the case with business?

"With all the construction going on, I have lost almost 50% of my business."

I spoke with Kelly Nabulsi.

He says he had to shut down his food truck for a month and a half.

Signs were placed throughout the work zone to show that businesses are open.

But now that traffic is moving again, Nabulsi tells me having his regulars back will get him through the rest of the construction process.

"You don't survive seven years, OK, without people loving what you do. So yes I do have quite a few that have missed me. You roll with the punches, let me put it that way."

I also checked in with Tallulah Kava Bar & Lounge.

Manager Harley Sohot says it took a few days to see customers return.

"About the end of the first week we started getting our regulars that aren't gone for the summer. Happy to have the customers not complaining about it anymore."

The next step in this process is known as phase two.

It will start once utility infrastructure work is done on the east side of the road.

Phase two include construction areas on the opposite side of the street — but access to all businesses will be open, including to Railroad Square Art District.

I asked the city of Tallahassee when that might begin.

They were not able to give me an exact date.

The city of Tallahassee says the full project is scheduled to be done by the end of 2024.