Dec. 26, 2012 By Bill Parry
Businesses around the Vernon Boulevard – Jackson Avenue Station are dreading the shutdown of #7 subway service starting this weekend.
The service will be disrupted for 13 successive weekends– from Dec. 29 through March 25. Trains will stop running at 12:01am on Saturday mornings until 5am on Monday mornings.
While the closure is inconvenient for the residents of Long Island City, it’s a nightmare for many stores and restaurants that are located near the subway station on Vernon Blvd.
Celine, the manager of the renowned French bistro Tournesol (50-12 Vernon Blvd), is concerned that the shutdown will reduce her customers’ ability to get to the restaurant. “We have so many customers who come out from Manhattan,” she said. “This will really hurt our business.”
Angel Flores, who works at Vernon Wines and Liquors (50-06 Vernon Blvd)¸ isn’t so concerned since his customer base tends to be local. However, he said, the corner delis will feel the pain.
“They’ll be the hardest hit,” Flores said. “The small stuff people get at these stores on the way to and from the subway…newspapers, a soda, even a bag of chips. It all adds up.”
Anthony at the Butcher Gourmet Deli (49-16 VERNON BLVD) agreed. “No trains equals no business. We’ll lose a quarter of our crowd, easily. It kills us.”
Terry, the manager at Dorian’s Café (1001 50th Ave, New York), which is right by the station, said, “It’s never good for business– at a diner like this.”
The two other stations in Long Island City where there No 7 train goes through are not likely to suffer as much.
There are few businesses in the immediate vicinity around the Hunters Point Ave Station, and it tends to quiet around the third station: Court Square.
Weekends are generally quiet in the shadows of the Citibank Building. “Not so much foot traffic on Saturdays and Sundays other than the galleries and PS 1,” said Mike at the American Hero sandwich shop (23-08 44th Dr.).
However, he said, “They have to fix this, right? This isn’t a third world country.”