The first day of a major reconstruction project that closed South Limestone in Lexington from the Avenue of Champions to Vine Street didn't seem to produce the really lengthy traffic delays that some had predicted.
That was little consolation though to some business owners who feel lack of access by motorists could affect their bottom line.
There are 7 restaurants on the block of South Limestone between Maxwell and Pine Streets, and more than one restaurateur told 27 NEWSFIRST that business was way off on Wednesday.
Wes Stephens of Tin Roof meanwhile said he didn't really notice any difference at all. "Not today. It's actually been a pretty busy rainy day so we're pretty happy."
Bur right next door, The Pita Pit was practically empty. Owner Ryan Veith said, "The weather has kind of played a part in it, but I think for the most part with the street being closed, it's going to take a real toll on business. I'm pretty much waiting on the kids to come back to school and getting foot traffic back. The next two weeks though I'm pretty worried about having people doing u-turns. It's kind of impossible to get here now from campus."
Timing, of course, is everything, and when Tin Roof opened in March, its owners had no idea South Limestone would soon be closed off.
Stephens said, "We only found out about 3 weeks ago that they were going to start this project and that it was going to take a year."
"We went through the same thing in Nashville with one of our stores there", said Stephens. "We had a bridge, a major thoroughfare to downtown close for 3 years and it was a struggle, but we got through it."
Stephens thinks Lexington leaders are doing the best they can to get the project completed quickly and minimize the effects and that it's going to be good for the city in the long run.
Others aren't as confident. The owner of a Subway on South Limestone bought out his partner last summer and poured money into remodeling it. He says business was down about 50 percent on Wednesday, and he's very worried about the future.