Lack of Student Foot Traffic Causes Restaurant Closures

Photo Credit/ Lynne McGee

Lynne McGee

Staff Writer

What’s a college town without college students? A ghost town.

College towns around the nation are suffering this fate, and East Stroudsburg has not been spared.

Since the start of the pandemic, many businesses have struggled to stay open, especially in college towns that thrive on the daily flow of students. 

Without students, businesses are struggling.

Sadly, some local businesses surrounding ESU are facing this dilemma. 

COVID-19 has impacted the local community and businesses of Main Street. 

One business experiencing this impact is Nino’s Italian Hotdogs, which first opened in early 2020.

Unfortunately, Nino’s has now permanently closed as of Feb. 27. 

A recurring customer at Nino’s, ESU Senior Liam Noble expressed his sadness on the closure.

“They had amazing food, it’s sad to see a business go under because there wasn’t enough revenue. If students were on campus, it would have been popular on the weekends.”

Many businesses have commented on the lack of foot traffic since campus closed March of last year.

“It’s sad to see a community you know, and love begin to fail. We can’t do anything about it until things ease up,” said Noble.

Many people have continued to support the small businesses lining Main Street; however, several new businesses have sadly closed without the thought of reopening. 

This not only hurts the business, but the workers as well.

Junior Callie Zigler, who currently works at a surrounding restaurant in East Stroudsburg, spoke on the many troubles she has faced.

“The rush we used to get is almost nonexistent. Since the start of the pandemic people have been laid off, and many of us have had shift cuts. It not only harms businesses, but the people working in them.”

Small businesses in the local community have yet to regain their footing, even as some restaurant restrictions have been lifted. 

Many places have faced foreclosure as low turnouts continue to hit the East Stroudsburg area.

Between the lack of people, and the many restrictions still in place, businesses are struggling to get back to where they once were.

How does a community conquer this? Perhaps the influx of students during the fall semester will help businesses get back on track.

Optimism flourished between students and businesses at the thought of returning to campus next semester.

Junior Sophia Heck states, “Even if there are restrictions, just the consistency of people may help fix the community. It is the simple things that we took for granted that I am excited to get back to.”

East Stroudsburg is not the same without students on campus; however, considering the town’s strong sense of community, there is hope that the area can bounce back stronger than ever.

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