CARMEL, Ind. - The U.S. 31 road construction project in Hamilton County has taken a bite out of the profits of restaurants that sit along that stretch of road in Carmel.
That road construction forced closures from Old Meridian Street on U.S. 31 to 136th Street. There are over 100 retail locations along that stretch and those establishments are having problems.
Related Story: US Highway 31 closes north of Indianapolis
In hopes of giving the restaurants a boost, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard has pledged to make "31 bites" during the 31 days of August.
John Perazzo owns J. Razzo's Restaurant near the 12000 block of North Meridian. He said his lunch crowd is down 50-percent and dinner has fallen by 15-percent.
"People just don't want to mess around with the construction during lunch because they only have a certain amount of time to dine," Perazzo said.
To help, Brainard launched the #31BITES orange-bracelet campaign.
"I very much encourage you to support the businesses that are located along U.S. 31. Shop here, eat here, pay taxes here, employ people here and contribute to the civic life of our community," Brainard said.
Despite the publicity campaign, Perazzo says the mayor is not doing enough.
"He should advertise or put up billboards and put ads in the paper. Put (the campaign) on TV and radio, telling people that the local independent restaurants need your help at this time," Perazzo said.
His regular customers understand the situation and are dining out more.
"My parents own a small business at 104th and College. The construction affects us so we try to support the local businesses as best we can," customer Jack Hughes said.
When construction is complete in Nov. 2014, it promises to remove traffic signals, reduce congestion and improve safety.
Until then, Brainard is encouraging everyone to use #31BITES on social media to raise awareness.
Friends, family remember father slain on SW side
Friends and family gathered Sunday night to remember an Indianapolis father known for helping others.
Coroner: Inmate died from internal bleeding
A northern Indiana coroner says a jail inmate who died Friday after guards found her unresponsive died from internal bleeding caused by…
Indy goes 'Beyond the Badge' to honor its fallen
A record number of people turned out Sunday to honor the men and women who have lost their lives while protecting the city of Indianapolis.
#INDYTODAY | Sunday events (Sept. 21)
With just a few days of summer left, here are a few things to do on a sunny Sunday in Indianapolis.
Toledo defeats Ball State 34-23 in MAC opener
Logan Woodside threw for 152 yards with a touchdown and rushed for two more scores as Toledo defeated Ball State 34-23 in the Mid-American…
Neighbor rescues man from burning home
An alert neighbor was credited with rescuing a man from his burning home early Sunday, Indianapolis Fire Department spokeswoman Rita Reith said.