Restaurant owners upset by road construction

The Meadows restaurant, which opened in 1934, has survived the Great Depression, World War II, competition during Middletown’s growth years and the 2008 Recession.

But a construction project this year nearly caused its owners, Ken Ledford and Emily Profitt, to close the restaurant, they said.

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When University Boulevard and Yankee Road were closed for two months during a major construction project, it greatly impacted business in the restaurant, they said. Customers were unable to get to the restaurant off Yankee Road and had to “find their way” off Lafayette Avenue, she said.

Profitt said when longtime customers called the Meadows to make reservations, their first question: If the construction complete?

There were nights, especially on Friday and Saturday, when business was down 50 percent from the same time last year, Ledford said.

“Nobody was here,” he said.

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But last week, since Yankee was open to traffic, the restaurant that seats 90 guests was “packed,” he said.

Ledford and Profitt purchased the Meadows in May 2014 and reopened it two months later, after renovating the interior.

They’re upset that after the construction, the restaurant’s main entrance on Lafayette has permanently closed, and the road in front of the business is two lanes. They said the reconfiguration has allowed motorists — including UPS and Fed-Ex drivers, even Middletown police — to use the Tudor-style restaurant’s parking lot as a thoroughfare from Lafayette to Yankee and from Yankee to Lafayette.

They want the City of Middletown to reopen the restaurant’s entrance and convert the road in front of the building into a one-way and line it for restaurant parking. Profitt had expressed her concerns before City Council and talked with Rob Nichols, the city’s engineer.

“We are discouraged,” Profitt said recently. “The construction has brought us no business. We don’t see any rhyme or reason for any of this.”

Profitt said she has even considered installing two concrete posts and a chain to eliminate traffic from passing through the parking lot when the restaurant is closed.

“We are trying to stop traffic,” she said. “We aren’t trying to hurt people.”

She said one female customer nearly was hit by a speeding motorist while walking to her car after dining.

Shelby Quinlivan, the city’s communications coordinator, said Nichols and Scott Tadaych, public works director, have agreed to continue talking with Profitt to see if her arguments are “valid” one month after the construction.

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