Road closure cripples businesses in downtown Greensboro

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The closure of part of a major street in downtown Greensboro has been bad news for businesses on the block.

The city began a major construction project in April to replace aged storm water and water lines on North Eugene street, between Bellemeade and West Smith streets.

The closure has cut off businesses like The Acropolis restaurant from all vehicles and most pedestrian traffic.

"It has affected us very much and been one of the biggest hardships we've had to incur," restaurant owner Jimmy Constagiannis explained. "I think the restaurant being in the middle of it all has suffered more than anyone else."

At noon on Friday, there were no customers inside The Acropolis's dining room.

Unfortunately, Constagiannis said that's the new normal, and because business has slowed down so much, he's had to close the restaurant on Mondays until construction is over.

As the business his parents opened approaches its 50th anniversary this fall, he says he just hopes they can stay afloat.

"I really thought this might close us before we could celebrate our anniversary," Constagiannis said. "I will be very thankful to see cars running through the street again."

He won't have to wait long. The city plans on opening one lane on North Eugene by next Wednesday, and the block is so excited, they're throwing a grand re-opening.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan is expected to attend, along with owners from other businesses in the area.

Kerrie Orrell, owner of Orrell Designs, said she will definitely be there.

She's owned the salon for 14 years and said while they have dealt with several inconveniences, like finding parking for clients, an established clientele base helped her business stay on track.

"We even had to go to other salons and say can we shampoo some hair because we've got some bleach and it has to come off right now," Orrell recalled. "It's been tough, but you just can't let it get you down, you have to say 'you won't beat me.'"

The grand re-opening and ribbon cutting of North Eugene Street is Wednesday, June 28 at 4 p.m.