Susan Fulton, co-owner of the Gourmet Girls Gluten Free Bakery/Bistro, at 5845 N. Oracle, believes the eatery’s business has not been greatly impacted by the ongoing construction work to improve Oracle Road.
The Gourmet Girls, located on the west side of Oracle just above the hill descending toward River Road, is within the last section of unfinished Oracle. Final paving is slated to begin in mid-May.
“Oddly enough, this particular ongoing project hasn't been as disruptive as you might imagine, partly because for whatever reason, it seems that over the last 10 years there has always been some kind of construction/repair going on in front of our store,” Fulton said. Utility lines have been dug multiple times, and other work has been performed.
“We have never known what's up in the past, it's just been continual digging and re-digging,” Fulton said, “so we are kind of used to it.”
This Oracle Road project is “different,” she said, “in that there is a very specific plan, and it has been extremely well communicated to us.”
Fulton credited Jan Waukon, who is a contractor for Main Street, a program of the Regional Transportation Authority. Waukon regularly communicates with affected businesses — there are more than 1,500 along the project route — with an email newsletter, detailing progress, and what’s next. Waukon has also visited the Gourmet Girls to answer questions.
“Very impressive,” Fulton said.
The Gourmet Girls is “a specific destination, so guests coming to us persevere even in the face of confusing cones and closed driveways,” Fulton said. “And we are not open at night when the work is done, so that is another plus for us.”
She considers the business to be “blessed with the most loyal and supportive clientele you can imagine. They stuck with us through all the COVID restrictions, so I don’t think they'll be too fazed by the construction.”
Fulton will wait and see how business goes when paving begins. Then, when it’s done “a celebration on completion will definitely be in order,” Fulton said.
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