The downtown eatery Caros, which has operated under various owners for about three decades, has closed.
The South Upper Street restaurant known for its hearty meals became a victim of changed traffic patterns on the block due to the stalled CentrePointe project and construction work on South Limestone, co-owner Robin Feeney said.
Feeney and co-owner Drew Rasmussen posted a note on the door of the self-proclaimed "Best Little Joint Downtown" and its Web site explaining the closing effective Nov. 13.
"Starting with the unutilized block that was razed in the center of town to a parking authority harassing employers, employees and clientele, to a dwindling daytime population due to layoffs and closings, and on to the city leaders' bright ideas and so-called plan ... The Limestone Streetscape Project ... Caros has had enough!" the sign read.
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"We weren't looking for a pity party, and we didn't want to whine about it," Feeney said in an interview, "but we felt there were a lot of good reasons this was happening and the best business decision for us."
Feeney said what they noticed "more than anything was the traffic."
"We used to have a lot of drive-up traffic," she said, but then the demolition of the CentrePointe block across the street obstructed parking and Limestone's closing led to motorists taking Upper Street or other roads.
"As much as you like a cheeseburger from Caros, it's not worth sitting in traffic," she said.
Feeney has operated the restaurant for the past three years, but it has a rich history, she said, from its three decades or so of operation starting as "Garos Famous Coney Island."
"The funny thing is the place really hasn't changed much," she said. "That was kind of the charm."