Businesses underperforming around The Q, on in Playhouse Square to close early

Posted at 6:43 PM, Jul 20, 2016

Downtown businesses, banking on big bucks during convention week, said they are sorely disappointed with sales.

"You look around, and there's only probably a dozen people here," said Dan Bir, co-owner of Otto Moser's restaurant in Playhouse Square. "Usually we would have 60-70 people, and I haven't had one person sit on the patio today."

Bir said business at his restaurant is down at least 60 percent this week. He attributes the drop to being far enough away from the Q Arena to make it an inconvenient walk for visitors. Plus, his regulars are working remotely.

"In the past couple of days, I've gotten about $76 in sales [per day]," said Angela Stella, a street vendor in Playhouse Square.

Normally, Stella said she would make about $125 a day.

"The building is empty so I lost some business, but the people, the pedestrians, they make up the business," said Kris Thakkar, owner of Hanna Convenience on East 14th St. "So it almost evens out."

Bir, who ordered extra food and alcohol for convention week, said he is closing earlier than normal this week and sending some of his servers home during what would normally be the lunchtime rush.