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  • Luiza Desouza

Construction affecting businesses on Clematis


Construction blocking business on one side of Clematis

The city of West Palm Beach has temporarily closed the 300 block of Clematis Street to traffic as Roxy’s rooftop pool is installed, affecting local businesses in the area.


The city approved the street closure, which has been closed since July 12 and is expected to reopen later this month. While street traffic on that section of Clematis will be closed, pedestrian traffic is still permitted.


Paula Janella, a server at Sushi Yama, has noticed the negative impacts on business, and she worries it might be due to the traffic restrictions making people think the restaurant is closed.


“Normally we get fewer people because of the off-season, but ever since construction has started we’ve been getting less than half of the regular amount – even to-go orders decreased,” Janella said.


Roxy's has been approved to install a 100-by-30-foot pool, 16 private cabanas and a full-service bar and restaurant atop its building at 309 Clematis St., which was erected in 1896.


“The road closure is taking place during the summer to minimize disruption during the peak season," the city hall said.

Unlike Sushi Yama, Grease, a sports bar on Clematis, has become increasingly popular and restaurant host Sarah Ledne believes it is because of the blockage.


“We’re usually slow during the off-season, but we’ve been at a steady increase since the road shut down. We have had a ton of people come in and try us out for the first time,” Ledney said.


Ledney told us she was sent home because the restaurant was at full capacity and she was not needed for the job.


Roxy's has been approved to install a 100-by-30-foot pool, 16 private cabanas, and a full-service bar and restaurant atop its building at 309 Clematis St., which was erected in 1896.


Roxy’s business has slowed down but customers are eager for the new and improved rooftop.


“Honestly it has been slower, the customers only have a small point of entry so it doesn’t look like we’re open unless you come to check,” said Roxy's bartender, Steven Ross, who believes business has slowed down.


How the businesses have been impacted varies with the location of the business. There is proof that each business has been impacted by the closing of traffic in the highly populated area. For some businesses, the street being opened is necessary for them to prosper.


Local resident Stephanie Greene is happy about the road being closed because it gives her children a safer place to bike.


“It’s great, we can bike down without worrying about upcoming traffic, they (her children) love it,” she said.


Construction has had many impacts on businesses and people around the strip. It is expected to end by Sept. 29.


“The city of West Palm Beach has mandated that Clematis be reopened in time for the GreenMarket in October,” City Hall said.


By Luiza Desouza


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