Disheartened by the construction on South Limestone, the owner of Failte Irish Import Shop is moving her store to Upper Street next week.
The store, which opened on South Limestone in 2002, will close March 5 and move to the former Caros location, next to McCarthy's Irish Bar between Main and Vine streets. Owner Liza Hendley Betz said that she plans to open there March 6 and that customers have volunteered to help her load inventory in their vehicles and move it.
Hendley Betz said she loved her space on Limestone, but the construction has driven away patrons who used to walk up and down the street and patronize the stores.
"To be honest, my business is crumbling, and I can't just sit here and watch it crumble," she said. "I just feel like we're not welcome on the street anymore."
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McCarthy's owns her new location, which will be in half of the available space. Peter Kiely, owner of McCarthy's, plans to use the other half to install a kitchen to serve food at the bar. He said he hopes to have food service in place by St. Patrick's Day weekend, saying, "It'll be ready ... but whether we have somebody or not is another case."
He said the bar might prepare just the food itself that weekend.
Hendley Betz said the space will be about the same size as the Limestone spot, but she'll use more of the new location for storage.
"I'm sorry to all the businesses on Limestone that I'm calling it quits," she said. "The less businesses up here, the less people will come.
"I just hope people don't forget about Limestone."