ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s the first Friday night for businesses in Nob Hill since construction started in full force this week on the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project.
ART construction noise stops at about 5 p.m., but the hope is that business won’t also quiet down on Friday night.
“I’m trying to remain positive about this,” said Stephen Paternoster, president of Esperanza Enterprises and owner of Scalo. “Nob Hill is open for business. We’d love for you to come down here.”
Paternoster says he has seen fewer customers than this time last year because of the construction.
“We hear about it from customers once they’re here, or we hear about it in a customer calling us and going, ‘You know, we made a reservation for eight people but we’re not going to try and fight it.’” Paternoster said.
Particularly for quick lunch breaks during work hours when customers are in a hurry.
As KRQE News 13 drove along Central during rush hour, traffic wasn’t too bad on Friday night as drivers now opt for other routes.
Plus, Paternoster says events in the area like “The Lion King,” showing at Popejoy Hall, help.
“We have a pretty good reservation list tonight,” said Paternoster. “Our book is pretty full, so we’ll see how it plays out over the night.”
Some people are going out of their way to show support to businesses along Central.
The Young Professionals of Albuquerque hosted a social event Friday night at the Apothecary Lounge at Hotel Parq Central.
“I think a lot of businesses feel like they’re in for a really tough year,” said Ron Patel, YPA president. “The things that we can do to positively affect that are, drive lots of people with disposable income towards their businesses.”
This was the first of a series of events they plan to host at businesses on Central.
“It’s not just about the evening that they’re here,” Patel said. “Obviously they’ll grab a bite to eat have a drink, but also they’ll realize what a nice place this is and hopefully they come back with their family with their friends.”
Business owners also say this will be a good opportunity for the customer as businesses in the area start offering deals and discounts to lure in more people.
The city is also offering free parking at meters along and near Central in the construction zones east of Broadway.