Seven years ago I was excited to open my own Italian restaurant in Hamilton Crossing in Carmel. It took me approximately a year to build the restaurant, buying the best kitchen equipment and excellent furnishings. I was very proud of the restaurant. The clientele responded and business was great.
Then disaster struck and nothing I can do except watch as our sales declined. First was the closing of Meridian St to U S 31. This lasted for two years and was the main approach to the restaurant. This included the bridge over U S 31 going East to West. This is the neighborhood we usually draw from. It made it almost impossible to get to the restaurant. All of this was done to drive to South Bend faster . People ended up bypassing local establishments. I was not going to stand still. I called every television station - they understood and aired my griefs. When US 31 was finally open I had to wait another 6 months for Carmel drive to open. When the construction for the highway was finished I finally was drawing my customers back. Then the ridiculous round a bout nightmare began. Slowly one at a time they were built. As people finally figured how to get here they were detoured again. This wasteful construction is still going on. The city of Carmel does not care for the local independent restaurant. Their answer was to hand out bracelets- what a joke!
I have seen many local businesses close and I am saddened. We live here, support other local business, pay taxes and our children even go to local schools. Through no fault of my own, my dream to own a restaurant where an enjoyable meal is enjoyed by neighbors and friends has been destroyed!