It’s the season of construction in Rockford, marked by a sea of orange cones on N. Main Street have garnered a lot of attention. Two businesses, across the street from each other, are in the heart of the construction zone, with two very different experiences.
“Its been challenging,” said Kelsey Fagan, a bartender at Mulligan’s.
Fagan has worked at Mulligan’s for four years now. She says her customers aren’t shy about expressing how visiting one of their favorite watering holes hasn’t been very convenient.
“The customers are very verbal about the construction. They like us to keep them posted on what roads are open and what are closed. But, it’s hard for us to even know, as it changes throughout the day.”
Construction forced workers to cut off Main Street at the railroad tracks near Pierce, just half a mile north of the bar.
“This specific week was a little rough,” said Olympic Tavern Bar Manager Zak Rotello. “They totally closed the railroad tracks. It was a lot more difficult to get here from the north side.
Rotello says the Olympic is in constant contact with the city and state for construction updates. He says the bar then passes that information on to their customers through Facebook.
“We’ve had pretty good communication with the folks from IDOT and the city of Rockford. [They’ve] been very supportive of letting us know what’s coming up and what we can do to try and make sure that people have an easy in and out of our business.”
But, across the street at Mulligan’s hasn’t been that easy.
“[We] kind of just got hit with the construction,” said Fagan. “[I] didn’t really know what was going to happen and what roads were going to be closed and what ones would be open. Every day that I would come to work, it could be a new obstacle. I have no idea what to expect.”
Both bars tell us they haven’t noticed any drops in sales and will remain open during the construction.