Harsh winter not helping Harrisburg’s Restaurant Row

Winter is probably not the best time of the year for places like Restaurant Row in Harrisburg, but this winter has been especially bad.

Think of all the days where snow has forced many workers to stay home, and think of all the days where it's been so darn cold that people would rather not go outdoors to get lunch.

“It's been hard,” said Eric Roman, the owner of Second Street Pizza. “It's been really hard on the business during the week lunch hours. It's been difficult to stay open; business has been really, really bad.”

And that carries over to nights and weekends. A lot of folks just don't want to deal with the harsh weather.

“On the weekends the late-night business has not been the same,” Roman said, “with the cold weather, the snow.”

“Everything's a little slow,” said Josh Shoemaker, who works at Palumbo's Italian Eatery. “All the guys from the local bars come and eat, and […] it affects their tips when people can't get out, and people don't want to drink and drive in this stuff either.”

One of the valet parking attendants for the Level 2 Nightclub, Walter Monroe, says the cold actually helps his business in some ways.

“People don't want to walk around in the snow,” he said. “But with having the option of valet parking, that kind of helps out a little bit.”

And of course the other variable in the mix this winter: The new parking rates and fines in the city.

“Every body's getting scare of the rates and every thing and getting tickets $30 and $50 like that,” Monroe said.

“It does affect,” said Shoemaker. “When people can't park but our pizza's so good people double park to get some.”

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