BottleRock Wine Bar’s Lunchtime Business in the Trenches
Cones block off all but one lane of 11th Street outside BottleRock on Monday morning.
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — Construction is an important part of progress, but work in the street can make life tough on a small business. A multi-week construction project that has been digging up the eatery's block of 11th Street has meant a noticeable drop in lunch traffic for BottleRock, a South Park destination for fine wines and small plates.
The project, initiated by Verizon's MCI Metro unit and expected to be completed in mid-December, involves the digging of a long trench to stretch new fiber optic lines to Staples Center from a manhole at 11th and Hope.
Corwin Anthony, BottleRock’s General Manager, said that he has noticed a 25 percent reduction in lunchtime business. “Whenever [patrons] see construction going on, they avoid us like the plague,” he said.
Thankfully for Anthony, most of the construction vehicles vacate the premises by rush hour, and therefore, do not have a significant effect on evening business.
Most Downtown businesses are protected from such an impact during this time of year by the Holiday Construction Moratorium, which lasts from Thanksgiving to New Years. Unfortunately, BottleRock is located just one block south of the area covered by the moratorium.
According to Anthony, the restaurant received no notification of the pending construction project, which started just two days before BottleRock's biggest event of the year. When he asked city officials, Anthony was told that permit-holders are not required to warn local businesses of upcoming projects.
While outdoor dining is now no longer available for lunchtime diners, Anthony encouraged customers to frequent BottleRock, stressing that once patrons enter the doors, the nearby construction is not an issue — “unless they are doing the drilling,” Anthony noted.
While BottleRock’s employees admit that the construction has undeniably affected their business, they hope that, once the trenches are filled, patrons will toast to a serene wining and dining experience.