Nick Catalano makes hundreds of sandwiches every day. His restaurant, Yo Philly, is a North Beach lunch staple. But Catalano worries about what will happen when the Beach Avenue exit closes later this week.
"Obviously closing one exit will affect the traffic," said Catalano. "What I’m afraid of is it’s going to affect the local lunch business."
The Beach Avenue exit is closing for good as part of the harbor bridge project. Once it closes, all northbound drivers coming off the Harbor Bridge will have to exit at Burleson Street. The closure comes just in time for summer vacation.
"I know the tourists are still going to come down to the beach, the aquarium," said Catalano. "It’s a matter of whether the locals who come in for lunch during the week are going to want to deal with that traffic and come over the bridge."
Catalano says, like other North Beach businesses, summer is his busiest season.
"During the summer it’s normally all week long," said Catalano. "Yes, the weekends are heavier."
But with an atmosphere as authentic as his cheesesteaks, Catalano is hopeful this latest closure is a minor inconvenience.
"Hopefully these cheesesteaks will still bring them in no matter what’s going on out there," said Catalano.
KRIS 6 News also spoke to several North Beach gift shop owners who agree with Catalano in that businesses will be affected, they’re just not sure the extent of the local businesses which may be lost.