PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Bar and restaurant owners are describing the recent violence on Pittsburgh’s South Side as anxiety-inducing and bad for business.
KDKA’s Meghan Schiller talked with business owners about why they’re fearful post-lockdown behaviors will hurt their bottom lines.READ MORE: Shawn Mendes Bringing World Tour To Pittsburgh
“That’s a possibility for sure,” said Joshua Wirwas, the manager at Fat Heads. “If it gets bad enough.”
The sounds of the sax filled the corner of 18th Street Friday, hours after gunshots rang across East Carson Street in an overnight triple shooting.
Business owners tell KDKA they fear the shootings will keep customers away.
“We had this pandemic keeping people in the house, and now we don’t need people keeping people in the house,” said Averill “Apple” Grimes, the kitchen manager at Fat Heads.
At Fat Heads, they’re using dumpsters to block off the parking lots to keep the outside late-night crowds away.READ MORE: EF-1 Tornado With Winds Up To 100 MPH Hits Mercer County
“It’s nerve-wracking all the shenanigans around here,” said Grimes. “We’re such a quiet place and to have something that crazy happen right across the street, it’s nerve-wracking.”
Talk of the overnight shooting filled Soul and Sea. It’s a new spot just steps away from the crime scene.
“People being afraid to come over here because of something that they heard or seen, you know, I think that it’s really a shame,” said Soul and Sea manager Jennifer Hawkins.
Councilman Bruce Kraus lives in the South Side and hopes to reopen the former Zone 3 Police substation on Mary Street. He’s hoping to tap into $500,000 a year, allocated over four years, from the American Rescue Plan’s federal relief money.
“And I have the assurance from Chief Dan Gilman and Mayor Peduto that the first allocation will be to finalize the opening of the Zone 3 down here at 18th and Mary, and we should see that momentarily,” said Kraus.
KDKA received confirmation of that plan with the city of Pittsburgh, learning the ARP funding plan included money for a South Side substation.MORE NEWS: Kittanning State Trooper Cited Over Allegations Of Unwarranted Use Of Force
A spokeswoman for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police tells KDKA “Public Safety is working with Public Works on this as a possible option down the road.”