DOWNEY - A local business owner says his restaurant is slowly starting to recover after struggling to contend with major road construction.
Jack Wannebo, owner of Stox Restaurant & Bakery at 9518 Imperial Highway, says that recent road construction located on Bellflower Boulevard and Imperial Highway cost him and his restaurant $300,000 in sales over 10 months.
“The city said it was only going to take four months,” said Wannebo. “They goofed up, and a lot of times they weren’t even working on it.”
Stox has been in operation for 55 years and has gained a loyal customer base over that time.
However many of the faithful clientele stopped coming in once road work began, Wannebo said.
“They block off the road, and somebody who used to take five minutes to get here takes an hour and a half, they’re not going to come here,” said Wannebo. “A lot of good customers are calling, [saying] ‘Sorry, we can’t come in for lunch...’…We had many good customers call and apologize for not coming down."
According to Wannebo, business was affected most drastically during the lunchtime hours from around 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. His waitresses have been affected as well, as many depend on their tips.
A lack of business also meant cuts in staff scheduling, Wannebo said.
Construction at Imperial and Bellflower has recently been completed and the road cleared up, and Stox is starting to see recovery in its lunch time business. However, Wannebo feels many still haven’t realized that the road is now open.
“A lot of people, if they still think [the road] is closed, they’ll say, ‘Why go down there and spend an hour and a half,’” said Wannebo. “They’re not sure yet.”