A struggling Flandreau business has been allowed to reopen a drive-thru liquor window after the street was closed in front of the business.
Nitza Rubenstein, owner of Fajita’s Bar and Grill, said after stone blocks started falling off a building across the street, her business has come to a standstill because the drive-thru lane was closed so people couldn’t exit. She asked the city council at the April 1 meeting to help her by allowing her to restore some of the business she offers.
“I need to do something, and I need you guys to help me. If I have to wait … I’m going to have to close,” she said.
Council members said the city should open up the far west lane of Wind Street so that people can enter and exit her drive-thru, which also serves food. The lane has been made into a one-way going south out of her driveway.
“The on-sale liquor portion of the business is a lifeblood for that business,” Council President Dan Sutton said.
“Day by day, it’s an issue for her personal business,” said Alderman Bob Pesall.
Fajitas has been open nearly a year.
Other businesses along that block of Wind Street and around the corner at the Flandreau Bakery have been affected by the street closure and the caution being used in case the building owned by Jim Zandt would collapse.
But the business all are open to pedestrian traffic, even though no one can park along Wind Street. In some cases, businesses have said the number of people coming in is down because patrons and some employees are afraid to frequent their establishments with the uncertain situation of Zandt’s building.
The city is waiting to find out results from an engineering study on March 26 of the building to see whether there is an option to save the building or if it needs to be torn down, said Jeff Pederson, city administrator.
“In the meantime, there’s really not a lot we can do,” he said. The city does have the right to abate the property but hasn’t chosen to do that yet. The building started crumbling March 14 on the back side in the alley that separates it from Fat Boys bar.