Rakesh Patel has run a successful business on L Street for the past decade, but now he is wondering if he can endure the challenge he faces for the next year.
Business at his store, L Street Liquors, has dropped off considerably since the barriers blocking the road and adjacent side streets have been erected.
“Everything’s blocked off,” he said. “It’s confusing. You can’t get through. The city didn’t even tell me this was going to happen.”
Patel estimates his business is losing about $2,000 a day in lost sales because most of his customers are motorists traveling to and from St. Simons Island.
“From the minute I open I’m busy until I close,” he said. “You usually see this whole parking lot filled. A lot of people from the island stop here because of the prices.”
Traffic has been rerouted, making it challenging for anyone to drive to his store, even if they want to go out of their way to support his business.
“It’s a big hit. I can’t even get most deliveries here” he said.
Drivers had to drop off deliveries at other stores and Patel would pick them up later in the day because of the difficulty in finding an alternative route to the store.
Patel said he is going to have trouble paying his bills such as sales tax and property tax as a result.
“They’re not going to wait,” he said.
Garrow Alberson, the city engineer said he met with Patel on Thursday and is trying to find ways to make it easier to access Patel’s store.
“We’re trying to help him out and get delivery trucks and customers there,” he said.
Regardless of what the city does to accommodate Patel, his business will be impacted until the road reopens, Alberson said.
“He’s going to take a hit,” he said.
Patel said he has been a Brunswick businessman since 2001 and believes his local store fills a niche in the community.
“I understand the need to do this, but why block off the whole road?” he asked. “I can’t wait a year.”