For owner Al Gline, Ha'penny Bridge Imports of Ireland's downturn in sales represents a trend that started with the state Route 161-U.S. Route 33 roundabout construction and now continues with the $4.3 million widening project at North High Street.

Gline said Ha'penny's sales have decreased by as much as 45 percent over the last six months.

"Our street traffic is dramatically reduced," he said.

Ha'penny, at 75 S. High St., isn't the only business to experience challenges.

Other Historic District shops and restaurants are experiencing reduced sales and foot traffic as a result of the one-lane restriction on North High Street that began at the end of January.

The project, which is expected to continue through November, includes widening North High Street to three lanes between North Street and Indian Run Drive.

Gline said he's trying to compensate for the downturn in store sales at Ha'penny by sharing store specials with customers via an email list.

Other businesses are trying similar approaches to drum up sales.

Cindy Herold at boho 72 at 72 N. High St. said "after-hours" events at the shop have been helpful, although she said business overall has been better than she expected.

"I thought it would hurt us a little bit more than it did," she said.

At Chelsea Borough Home, Christena Wentz said she and her mother, Tena Wentz, have been holding events outside Dublin to offset the drop off of in-store business.

Sales in the store at 54 S. High St. were down 30 percent in March and 25 percent in May, she said. Foot traffic has also decreased by 10 percent.

Linda Kick, owner and chief creations officer of Our CupCakery at 16 N. High St., said walk-in traffic at her shop has been down, and regular customers and delivery trucks assume they can't access the store because of the North High Street construction.

"It definitely has an impact on our business in a couple of ways," she said.

Time is money, Kick said, and now she requires more time to let customers know that they easily can access her store.

The challenges are not relegated to retail.

Nick Taylor, general Manager at Oscar's Restaurant & Bar, said lunch sales have been down at the eatery at 84 N. High St., although dinner sales have rebounded with warmer weather.

"It's not been good for us, but it's not been so damaging that we're not going to bounce back once it's over," Taylor said.

But not everyone is reporting difficulties.

The construction hasn't had much of an impact on Knitting Temptations, said owner Karen Wilkins. Customers at the 35 S. High St. establishment haven't complained, and the store hasn't experienced any drop in sales.

Rick Gerber, president of the Historic Dublin Business Association, said the effect of the North High Street construction varies from business to business.

On average, businesses in the Historic District are reporting a decrease of as much as 20 percent in sales revenue. The Dublin Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library reported a 10-percent drop in foot traffic, he said.

Still, Gerber said the business association is collaborating with local businesses and the city of Dublin to communicate that stores are still open for business despite the perception of inconvenience.

Dublin Senior Public Information Officer Lindsay Weisenauer said the city designed an "open for business" campaign including print and digital ads in local publications, social media posts, news columns and videos.

"Our videos promoting the downtown Dublin area and specific businesses have garnered tens of thousands of views on our website and social media accounts," Weisenauer said.

The city also planned targeted marketing including electronic message boards for the Memorial Tournament, which runs through June 4 at the Muirfield Village Golf Club, Weisenauer said.

Construction details

Southbound traffic on North High Street is able to travel between North Street and Indian Run Drive. Northbound and southbound North High Street traffic will be able to turn west on North Street throughout a majority of the project.

While southbound traffic will be maintained on North High Street, northbound traffic on that street will be maintained between Bridge and North streets.

Drivers traveling northbound on North High Street will have to take a detour from Bridge Street to Riverside Drive.

To access North High Street businesses, the Dublin Branch library and Indian Run Elementary School, drivers should use North High Street or Darby Street.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah