Berry Street construction leaves nearby businesses lacking in sales

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    Stretching from Lubbock Avenue to Rogers Avenue, the west side of Berry Street is flooded with traffic cones, machinery, concrete wire and detour signs blocking all normal paths to businesses.

    Kristopher Westerman, a Little Caesars employee, said it has become harder for customers to find the store due to the confusion brought on by road signs and detours.

    “Our main entrance right here on Greene Street is completely blocked off,” Westerman said. “[Customers] have to go all the way around a couple of blocks to get to us.”

    Westerman said sales were 15 percent higher before the construction started, and now they are not making enough profit to cover their expenses.

    “I hope they don’t push the [construction] back. We could definitely use the sales,” he said.

    Christeena Alcocer, server and bartender at Los Vaqueros, said the construction has lead to a lack of customers coming in, forcing her to work overtime.

    “I work three jobs to make up for it,” Alcocer said. “Doing a 4-hour shift and going home with 20 dollars isn’t fun, especially when you’re paying bills with that money.”

    Alcocer said she hopes the construction will end soon and is excited about working normal hours again.

    “[When it’s over], I’ll probably make a lot more tips,” she said.

    Meconen Brha, sales associate at 7-Eleven, said customer sales are down 75 percent since construction started.

    “We have customers that cannot make it [to the store] because the road is closing,” Brha said. “It’s really hard.”

    Eric Deleon, sales associate at Radio Shack, said the amount of customers coming in the store has drastically changed.

    “Most of our customers just drive by, and they don’t know how to get in here,” Deleon said. “We usually get the older customers that know the back roads.”

    Deleon added that the roadwork is bringing in fewer sales each day.

    “It’s been very hard,” he said.

    Jocelyn Jiminez, cashier and manager at Which Wich, said it is chaos for customers to try to park and follow the detours.

    “[Students] who are just trying to get a sandwich in-and-out and go to class, they would just rather avoid it,” Jiminez said. “Me personally, I wouldn’t take the detour just to get here.”

    Jiminez said customer sales have been down since construction began, resulting in the need for fewer employees to support the business.

    “We usually have four employees in the morning, and now we are just down to two.” she said. “It’s just harder.”

    Kendrick Judie, supervisor at Toppers, said the construction has had a negative impact on them, also.

    “[Sales] have dropped drastically,” Judie said. “Nobody wants to go through all of that construction.”

    Judie said the construction has led to less carryouts and pickups because parking for customers has become an inconvenience.

    “Nobody wants to come,” he said. “I don’t blame them.”

    The Berry Street construction is expected to complete April 19.