By: Darren Pai
(KHNL) - The new sign went up last month but business hasn't picked up for the New Queen Chinese Restaurant on Kapiolani Boulevard.
"Once the construction started we saw our sales drop almost 35 percent," said owner Johnson Choi.
Sewer and water main improvements along Kapiolani started in mid-October. Restaurant managers said customers have been scarce ever since.
"It's just the inconvenience," Choi said. "The people found out there's construction, they circle the restaurant, they take alternative routes."
Now the city plans to stop work on the project during the holiday season and let traffic flow normally through the Kapiolani area.
"When this project was first announced and we went forward we recognized there would be huge disruptions to the businesses there, motorists and obviously people who use Kapiolani," said Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann.
The $32 million project involves replacing sewer and water mains that are more than 70 years old.
"The project I want to again state is absolutely essential to public health and safety," Hannemann said.
With a break in the roadwork - the owners hope to fill the restaurant with holiday cheer.