Claremore coffee shop owner says road construction is impacting business

CLAREMORE, Okla. — A coffee shop owner in Claremore said construction that is blocking direct access from the highway outside his shop is starting to impact his business.

Work started on the re-pavement project along a stretch of Highway 20 last summer.

There’s no line at The Drip’s drive-thru line because no one can actually drive through from the highway.

“Having a drive-thru is very important,” explained The Drip owner Al Soto. “It’s why we picked this location. It’s by the turn pike, has easy access and now no access.”

Soto told FOX23 that the problem is the construction along Highway 20, which is the road in front of his business. The construction has cut the shop off from the highway.

Anyone that wants to try The Drip has to drive off the highway, take a few turns and access the shop from the back. Soto said that he didn’t even know about the alternative route until the construction started. Now sales are down by a quarter.

“We’re not convenient, and I don’t blame the public from driving by and now they have no option but to drive by unless they come in from the back roads,” Soto explained.

Soto said that the loss of sales has really hit him hard. He has started to look for a second job to make end’s meet.

“I’m looking for another job to offset the money here,” Soto said. “The business can support the employees and operating expenses, but it doesn’t [provide living wages] right now.”

ODOT released a statement about the construction to FOX23.

They explained that their work should be completed by the spring. ODOT also explained that they do realize that delays are negatively impacting businesses in the area. They also told FOX23 that they wanted to thank the Claremore community for their patience while the work continues.