Owner says restaurant has suffered because of road detour

Monday, July 29, 2019
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Owner says restaurant has suffered because of road detour. John Rawlins reports during Action News at 5:30 p.m. on July 25, 2019.

LR. MORELAND, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Piero's Italian restaurant has been on Reading Avenue in Lower Moreland for a decade. Business was good up until April 1 of this year says owner-chef John Neal.

Since that date, Neal says business has been "Horrible compared to the last ten years, really not good."

The problem Neal says the unintended impact of a $7 million rehabilitation of a nearby stone bridge that carries Byberry Road traffic across Southhampton Creek.

That project necessitated a major detour for many of the eleven thousand cars that normally pass Piero's every day.

Instead of taking a 5-minute drive to Piero's, Neal says some customers were facing rides of up to 45 minutes because of detour related traffic backups.

Neal says while PennDOT put up a sign saying Piero's was open, he contends other confusing detour signs convince some would-be customers the road to the restaurant was closed.

He told us the number of people coming to the restaurant dwindled over the last months. He says in past summers the restaurant normally served 20 to 30 for lunch. He says recently he was lucky to serve four people.

Frustrated Neal made an emotional appeal on Facebook this week. After spelling out the financial issues he is facing, he asked: "Do I stay or do I go?"

He says there has been positive feedback via social media. Neal says there was an uptick in customers since the post. Today at least eight people indicated they showed up to have lunch today a Piero's.

David O'Connor of Hatboro said he had never been to the restaurant before but after seeing Neal's Facebook post he thought he would give it a try and support a local business.

O'Connor said he enjoyed his lunch.