One of Northeast Ohio's favorite chocolate shops, Suzin L Chocolatier, is temporarily closed after a portion of its facade fell off Thursday, littering the sidewalk below with debris and causing damage to the business.
The shop is located in the 200 block of Broad Street, Elyria. According to the Elyria Fire Department and Mayor Frank Whitfield, part of the parapet facade suddenly fell onto the sidewalk below around 2:30 p.m. Thursday. The cascading debris caused damage to the awning of the business and shattered at least two windows. Fortunately, no one was outside the business at the time and no injuries were reported.
Firefighters and police closed the road to traffic while city crews worked to build a temporary fence around the beloved business.
"Our whole team has come together to really support and secure everything. No one was hurt, which is a blessing," Whitfield said. "This is what comes with the nature of having a historic downtown."
Although a structural engineer is working to determine the cause of the partial facade collapse, Whitfield said the region's notoriously rough freeze-thaw cycle could be to blame.
"We’re fortunate that it’s just the facade. We’re confirming that now.," Whitfield said. "We have some structural engineers up there now assessing to make sure it’s just the facade. So far it looks good."
Suzin L Chocolatier, which also has a location in Amherst, has been a mainstay in downtown Elyria since the early 1980s. With one of the busiest days for the business approaching, Whitfield is hopeful that the city and its residents rally around the business.
"We know Valentines Day is around the corner and we want to get them back open as soon as possible," Whitfield said. "For the residents and folks out there, our call to action is to make sure we support Suzin L’s. It has been the crutch for many husbands over the years. It’s time for us to step up and help Suzin L’s as they are addressing this challenge."
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