CINCINNATI -- Although the city of Cincinnati has already spent spend millions ensuring the East End doesn't topple into the Ohio River, the construction of retaining walls on Riverside Drive could still send one nearby business underwater.
Servers and cooks at BrewRiver GastroPub, which has served Cajun-inspired dishes and local beer at 2062 Riverside Drive since 2012, have worked amid a near-constant cloud of dust since construction began in early 2017.
Managing partner Joby Bowman said Thursday night the continuous traffic and roadblocks have damaged business at the restaurant so severely it is in danger of closing.
"It started in March," she said. "Our patio was not anywhere you would want to be. There were bulldozers and many different kinds of equipment just hanging out over us. It was dirty, nasty, smelly."
They lost parking space and drive-by traffic to construction staging as well, Bowman said, and insurance couldn't help.
"In the city of Cincinnati, commercial policies do not cover hill slides, and that includes business interruptions," she said. "That was kind of the nail in the coffin. … We're scared about what that could mean."
Bowman said she had invested hundreds of thousands of her own money in keeping the business open since the start of 2017. Now, she has very little left to continue funding the restaurant she opened with her late father.
"It would break me to lose it," she said.
BrewRiver GastroPub is seeking help on GoFundMe, where managers hope to raise $80,000 to cover rent, insurance and other business expenses until construction ends.
"It's a matter of saving us or not," Bowman said. "I'm not going to beat around the bush on that. I don't have anything else to pull from."