Restaurants say construction in Cedar Rapids are decreasing their ability to make sales

Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 8:14 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Multiple restaurant owners said construction in Cedar Rapids is interfering with their ability to make sales.

The construction is blocking storefronts, creating detours and closing roads leading to different businesses like Chophouse Downtown.

Ryan Avila-Burillo, who owns the restaurant, said a sewer improvement project has decreased his sales around 60%. He said the most frustrating part is he never received any notification.

“You know a week or two in advance would allow us to take advantage of all of our platforms so we can notify our customers or provide alternative parking options,” Avila-Burillo said.

He said it’s also frustrating when he sees the roads closed and nobody working on the project. Chophouse Downtown opened in 2021 and construction has blocked off the restaurant twice.

Construction in downtown Cedar Rapids has hurt other restaurants like Runt’s Munchies. In July 2021, the only way people could get to the restaurant is by taking 5th Avenue by driving past the Cedar Rapids Library.

Jess Johnson, who owns Runt’s Munchies, said she’s frustrated one of the roads leading to her restaurant is still closed due to a different construction project. She thinks almost a year of not having full access to her restaurant is too long.

“After the last year and a half of all this stuff, I can’t think of a happy medium anymore,” Johnson said. “This is getting ridiculous.”

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