Another restaurant says Carmel construction is hurting business

CARMEL, Ind. – Another Carmel restaurant says rampant construction is killing its sales. Larry Johnson owns the Dairy Queen on Rangeline Road, and says construction there is driving customers away.

“[It has been] rough, very rough,” said Johnson.

Between the summer swelter and kids wanting a cool treat, Johnson would expect the place to be packed, but not recently.

“Very, very busy time, and it’s gone now,” said Johnson. “We’ve lost about 50 percent of our business.”

Thursday afternoon, Johnson invited Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard (R) to see the impact himself.

“It does impact people during construction but we have to get through it to make it better in the long run,” said Brainard.

But Johnson is not alone. Last week, several miles across town, J. Razzo’s announced it was shutting down for good, blaming nearby construction. Next door, La Hacienda said they were feeling the impact, too.

“I don’t think anything in life that you want to achieve comes without some pain,” said Brainard, adding that the city does what it can to get all projects wrapped up quickly.

“We pay our contractors incentives to get it done early, and disincentives if they don’t meet the deadline,” said Brainard.

During the meeting, Johnson pushed for more outreach by the city to let people know what’s still open and how to get there.

“We have a website, just for construction issues,” said Brainard. “His idea to put some maps up there…I thought we’d done that if we haven’t, we’re going to get them up right away.”

The project on Rangeline Road is expected to wrap up some time this November.

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