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Updated: 06/24/2013 10:39 PM
Created: 06/24/2013 4:25 PM KSTP.com | Print |  Email
By: Stephen Tellier

Robbinsdale Sinkhole Could Swallow Businesses' Revenue


Sinkhole in Robbinsdale

Photo courtesy of Hennepin County

Officials are now hopeful that the Robbinsdale sinkhole can be fully repaired by next Wednesday. But in the meantime, some nearby businesses are bracing for the financial impact of the surrounding road closures in the heart of town.

The sinkhole was caused by a water main break on 42nd Avenue North, just west of Bottineau Boulevard on Saturday.

At 15- to 20 feet deep, it's already swallowed up water, sand, dirt and three lanes of pavement.

"Lo and behold, the whole ground was missing. It was crazy," said Tina Suglia, co-owner of La Cucina di Nonna Rosa's Ristorante Italiano.

Now, some fear it could sink nearby businesses -- figuratively speaking, of course.

"Two to three weeks of a huge traffic headache doesn't bode well for our customers," Suglia said.

That's how long it was originally expected for the sinkhole to get repaired, refilled, and repaved, although officials are now hopeful the road will reopen to traffic next week.

Nonna Rosa's hasn't yet seen a steep decline in business, but there's no recourse if that becomes a reality.

"This isn't something insurance can cover. It's not like a storm blew out your cooler and you lost all your product," Suglia said.

"Look at it. It's just crazy," said Sara Kimm, a floral designer at Paeonia Floral.

Kimm couldn't help but stare out the window at the line of drivers dodging detours on Broadway Avenue on Monday. Even at midday, the cars barely crawled for blocks and blocks.

"We didn't have a whole lot of walk-in traffic, I think probably because it was hard for everyone to park around here. It still is today," Kimm said.

She's hoping that doesn't wilt business at Paeonia Floral, But Kimm has an interesting take on all this.

"I think it could also increase the business because of the slow traffic going by," Kimm said.

Like any good business, Paeonia is adapting to the new circumstances, turning the traffic into an advertising opportunity. Call them, "sinkhole specials." Because why not capitalize on the crowds congregating around the community crater?

"I would say there was definitely kind of the feeling of a tourist town for a bit," Suglia said.

Click here for a list of businesses affected by the sinkhole.


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