The owners of the South of Philly restaurant on Sherwood Forest Boulevard closed last week, posting a sign thanking customers for their six years of patronage but stating that “construction won.”
Ricky Pallotta, who owned the restaurant with his wife, Kathleen, says restaurant revenue fell some 30% once construction started on Sherwood Forest earlier this year, and customers from the Industriplex area complained it could take up to an hour to reach the restaurant.
“Ultimately, after not making any real substantial profit, we were just unable to continue on,” Pallotta says.
He does not plan to re-open the eatery in a different location.
Construction on Sherwood Forest was expected to finish earlier this summer but was delayed by the historic high levels of the Mississippi River.
For the project, construction crews are using a special type of asphalt from Arkansas and Fred Raiford, director of transportation and drainage, says the river levels delayed shipment of the material for more than a month.
The river has since dropped, materials are flowing and Raiford expects overlay work to begin Friday or Saturday night. First up with be the stretch of Sherwood Forest from Airline Highway to Old Hammond Highway, then a different type of asphalt will be used for the run from Old Hammond to Florida Boulevard.
The overlay work will take roughly two weeks to finish and construction crews will move on to completing details around the intersections and turnarounds and striping the street. Weather permitting, Raiford expects the project could be wrapped up by mid-September.
“We’re doing all the work at night because I want to minimize the inconvenience,” Raiford says.
“I regret the delay, but we had a historic flood event with the river and that impacted getting this specialized material for this roadway. … We did have some businesses calling to express concerns and frustrations, and I told them what happened, but there’s not much I can do about it.”