TEP employees support downtown restaurants
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Streetcar construction will one day mean a state-of-the-art edition to downtown.
It should be finished in late 2013. But for now, it means downtown Tucson is a mess.
Traffic troubles are nearly killing businesses, but some of them are surviving thanks to loyal patrons.
When construction took over the streets of downtown, manager Dave Anderson said the traffic coming into Empire Pizza on East Congress Street slowed down.
"Not only was it annoying to come down here, people would realize 'Oh, with the construction going on, maybe I don't want to go to Empire that bad, maybe I can eat somewhere else,'" he said.
But with all of the detours and blocked off-streets...
"A lot of people downtown realized they're also stuck downtown with us," said Anderson.
And regulars like Tucson Electric Power employee Samuel Molina have kept Empire Pizza in business.
TEP spokesperson Joseph Barrios said that while company workers eat downtown on a regular basis, on Wednesday, they wanted to promote downtown dining.
"The company provided some of the shirts they're wearing," Barrios said. "The bright blue T-shirts they're wearing, but these employees are going to be paying out of their pocket the way they normally do."
Anderson said he's thankful for the regular customers, and TEP's 500 downtown employees eating out for lunch today.
"So far I've seen new faces come in which is really good to me because that gives me the opportunity to create more regulars," he said.