FULTON, NY – A new business in a popular downtown location is facing problems that could result in closed doors.
Susan Ryan, owner of the Tavern on the Lock Restaurant, approached the Fulton Common Council last week with the concerns.
“Right now, it is all-day parking,” Ryan explained. “We have no room for our lunch customers.”
Ryan explained that the parking lot is typically full by the start of the business day as downtown employees head to work. As a result, the lunch “rush” is turning to a trickle as customers have no where to park.
“It has become detrimental to our lunch business,” Ryan said. “If we don’t have lunch (business), we are going to be closing.”
Ryan pointed out that elderly customers, especially, are less likely to find a parking space several blocks away and walk to the restaurant. She said she sees customers circle downtown in their cars at lunch time trying to find a space.
“How many times are you going to drive around before you don’t go to that restaurant?” Ryan asked.
Third Ward Alderman Robert Weston said that parking has always been an issue downtown.
“We have to ask businesses to ask their employees not to park there,” Weston said.
Weston noted that the city lot across Oneida Street is available for public parking but often underused.
“There are no cars,” Weston said.
“The council knows what needs to be done,” Weston added. “We (need to) just do it.”
Second Ward Alderman David Guyer pointed out that employees in Syracuse walk several blocks every day to get to and from work. He noted that asking people to park in the lot across Oneida Street is not too much to ask.
Ryan pointed out that her employees already use that space.
Sixth Ward Alderman Russ Hayden said he took time to talk to downtown business owners about the changes that could be coming down the pike.
“I went down and talked them,” Sixth Ward Alderman Russ Hayden said. “They are not in favor (of the changes) but we’ve got to do what’s right.”
The city hosted a special meeting Tuesday evening. Among the items discussed, the council agreed to advertise for a public hearing to change parking times in lot 5. The hearing will be held July 1.
“We have a new business there and we don’t want it to fold because of a parking problem,” Mayor Ronald Woodward said.
Woodward said that he remembers dealing with downtown parking issues during his first term as mayor in 1986, as well.
“It has always been an issue,” he said. “But there is no point to having businesses downtown if customers can’t get to them because of the parking.”