Emeralds, a clothing store on North LBJ Dr. near The Square, is not closed. However, some customers think it has shut down because of the construction work surrounding the business.
A large sign with heavy, red lettering displayed in Emeralds’ windows says that not only is it open for business, it is having a “construction sale” as an incentive for customers to visit despite the surrounding road work.
“When construction first started, people weren’t coming in because they weren’t sure if (the store) was open,” said Tamara Woehl, a store associate at Emeralds. “We’ve been trying to up the game.”
Emeralds is one of several local businesses being affected by various construction projects around San Marcos. Woehl said Emeralds is offering a store-wide 25-30 percent off sale to attract more customer attention that has been lost because of surrounding construction.
Chad Trigg, manager at Treff’s Tavern on LBJ Dr., said the bar relies on “die-hard” regulars to drive sales. He said 70 percent of the bar’s customers are regulars, and the other 30 percent are those who now choose to go somewhere else because of construction.
Trigg said Treff’s, located off North LBJ Drive, has a small parking lot to begin with, and the entrance is now closed sometimes because of construction. He said this makes it difficult for customers to get to the bar, coupled with the fact North LBJ Drive is a one-way street.
"I'll be honest, if I were a customer, it’s like 'I don't want to deal with that,’" Trigg said.
Lacy Jameson and Lauren Howland consider themselves to be two of Treff’s “die-hard” customers. Jameson, a Texas State alumna, and Howland, accounting senior, regularly team up with friends to attend Treff’s “Geeks Who Drink” nights. Howland said she has, however, seen nearby road construction affect the amount of teams that attend the event.
Business at Gordo’s Burgers and Stuff, which is located near Treff’s, has also been affected by construction. Jesse Garza works at Gordo’s with his brother, who owns the restaurant, and said construction of the Comanche 24-inch Water Transmission line has had a negative impact on business.
Garza said Gordo’s has lost about 40 percent of its customer base because of construction. The entrance to the restaurant’s parking lot is either open or completely closed off, depending on which side of the road construction crews are working on, Garza said.
Garza said making the trip to the restaurant is worth the effort, and the business is relying on word of mouth to get sales back up.
“Our regulars are the only ones keeping us alive right now,” Garza said. “We’re going to stick it out and hope for the best.”