Mo’ con­struc­tion, mo’ party time

Wed­nes­day, Au­gust 30, 2017 17 Av­enue block party planned in face of road clo­sures Cal­gary

StarMetro Calgary - - YOUR ESSENTIAL DAILY NEWS - Aaron Chatha Metro | Cal­gary AARON CHATHA METRO

A mere road clo­sure isn’t enough to keep these 17 Av­enue restau­rants down.

Con­struc­tion to re­vi­tal­ize 17 Av­enue has been rip­ping up roads block by block over the sum­mer, but on Sept. 3, the busi­nesses on the 300 and 400 blocks are tak­ing ad­van­tage of the re­stricted roads to throw a block party.

“We want to make sure peo­ple know it’s still worth mak­ing it down here, it’s not that dif­fi­cult and we’ll have a good time,” said Roy Oh, owner of Anju.

“Our block is pretty awe- some, with the line up of restau­rants that we have.”

Since the con­struc­tion be­gan, many busi­nesses have no­ticed a de­crease in cus­tomers, as it be­comes harder to nav­i­gate the area. The City of Cal­gary has stepped in with mar­ket­ing pro­mo­tions to help keep one of Cal­gary’s most pop­u­lar neigh­bour­hoods bustling.

Road­block, how­ever, is an en­deav­our cre­ated by just a few spe­cific busi­nesses, as the con­struc­tion is just about to hit their block.

Many restau­rants will have spe­cial deals for Road­block, like Anju giv­ing com­ple­men­tary hot dogs, But­ter­milk host­ing a Mario Kart and Twis­ter marathon on the pa­tio, Model Milk host­ing a popup bou­tique and com­pli­men­tary brisket sand­wiches, live DJs and more.

“These busi­nesses are valu­able. They con­trib­ute to the fab­ric of the city, and be­tween the restau­rants and busi­nesses, these are 300, 350 jobs,” said Justin Le­boe, owner of Model Milk.

“No one is dis­put­ing that 17th needs some work, and it’s bet­ter sooner than later, but we’re com­ing off the worst re­ces­sion in 30 years in Cal­gary. As we’re try­ing to re­cover, the city’s closed the roads. So now it be­comes ex­tremely crit­i­cal for restau­rants to try and main­tain some sort of busi­ness level dur­ing the clo­sure.”

For Cal­gar­i­ans trekking through the con­struc­tion around 17 Av­enue, they’re hop­ing the tem­po­rary hard­ship right now will be worth it.

”These are world-class restau­rants,” said James Fedirka, who reg­u­larly walks the area with his girl­friend. “Eighth Av­enue isn’t the vi­brant one on a reg­u­lar night, 17th is. We have to keep 17 Av­enue vi­brant.”

owner of Anju, is help­ing put to­gether this week­end Road­block Party with other busi­nesses on his block of 17 Av­enue.

Roy Oh,

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