There’s only week left until the beleaguered G-train resumes its service between Court Square in Long Island City and Nassau Avenue, but residents and businesses in the neighborhood don’t seem to have missed the train all that much.
Most businesses along Manhattan Avenue, particularly around the Nassau Avenue and Greenpoint Avenue stops reported no change in business.
The block’s newest entrant, Crepeteria did not witness a decrease in business despite one of the main transport arteries being cut off.
The chef at the crepe shop, Anna Szpala, attributed this to fact that the shop opened just as the G-train was shutting down, so it hasn’t gauged what the full-functionality of the G-train might entail for the restaurant.
“I haven’t heard anyone complain about it,” said Szpala referring to comments from customers. “In fact, I noticed that the G Train service was improving before it closed down.”
Across the street at the health and wellness center, Awakening NY, the owner Mariola Zaremba echoed similar sentiments about being unaffected by the shutdown.
“With the G train running we always had to account for customers coming in late because of the poor service,” said Zaremba. “Now we just encourage them to walk directly from the Bedford Avenue L train.”
Longtime neighborhood businesses like the Old Poland Bakery close to the Greenpoint Avenue stop and World of Flowers further down on Manhattan Avenue said their businesses were sustained by regular customers.
“People who visit the flower shop usually come in with a specific purpose or know what they want,” said Adriana Sucha, who works at the store. “And our business is supported by a lot of locals so the train doesn’t really affect us one way or another.”
For some businesses however, the shutdown actually led to an uptick in businesses – people waiting for the shuttle buses would walk into the shops to avoid the heat or kill the wait time, and often walk out with purchases.
“From what I hear the shuttle is effective, it actually goes from outside our Manhattan Avenue store, so maybe that’s brought a few new customers in as they wait,” said Laura O’Neill co-founder of Van Leeuwen Ice-Cream, adjacent to the Nassau Avenue stop. “In fact we’ve been pretty busy given it’s August.”
Further up on Manhattan, DNA Footwear, reported a similar increase.
“The bus leaves right in front of the shop, so customers often come into browse, but then leave with a pair of shoes, so the shutdown has actually been helpful,” said Rene, who declined to provide his last name, a manager at the footwear store.
The G train shut down for Sandy-related repairs on July 26th and is expected to reopen the day after Labor Day.