Downtown Phoenix businesses impacted by light rail construction

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlor on Jefferson Street and Central Avenue in the heart of downtown Phoenix offers craft cocktails and a cozy atmosphere. But outside, the popular spot is surrounded by streets under construction. Owner Ross Simon tells Arizona’s Family that the construction is hurting businesses in the area. “As far as customers trying to navigate to find us, it’s much more difficult. Parking is a challenge and always has been. Now it’s even worse,” Simon said.

The city extends light rail to south Phoenix and builds a downtown core to create a two-line system. A spokesperson said construction along Jefferson Street is expected to ease next month, but the downtown project will not be completed until the end of the year. “It’s pretty catastrophic. Basically, we went through the whole year of COVID-19, we closed, we were ahead of the curve, we did everything right. When we reopened, that’s when where the construction started,” said Simon.

The city tells Arizona’s Family that there is a grant program for businesses affected by the Phoenix Light Rail construction. For more information, click/tap here.

Simon said he was not eligible for the grant because his business is making too much money and he has more than 15 employees. So for now, he’s asking the community to support small businesses downtown. “All of these small businesses need people to support them in this very, very difficult time,” Simon said.

David H. Henry