The owner of a downtown St. Paul business says light-rail construction is forcing him to close his nightclub.
The owner of Rumours & Innuendo, a GLBT-friendly bar and dance club, publicly supported the Central Corridor light-rail project, even as work crews began to tear up large stretches of East Fourth Street, right in front of the club, last year.
Despite the construction hassles, Sean Fetterman said he believed the project would pay off in the end. But on Monday, Fetterman said construction from the light-rail project has been a strain on his establishment.
"I love the progress, but it killed our business," he said of the light-rail construction. "Our revenue stream was pretty good, but then when the project started, it completely tanked."
Several Lowertown businesses have complained in recent months about the disruptions from the project. While expressing his frustrations, Fetterman was careful to praise the project's outreach staff for communicating construction updates.
But on his website Monday, Fetterman had a different take. "The project has continually been pushed back and communication on what's next has been unclear and, at times, non-existent," the note said.
Project spokeswoman Laura Baenen of the Metropolitan Council said Rumours & Innuendo is believed to be the first business to blame Central Corridor work for its demise.
"The Fourth Street utility work has been disruptive for businesses. We've said that all along," said Baenen. "We said it before construction began, but that we would also do everything we could to reduce these disruptions and keep businesses apprised of this construction schedule."
Baenen said project staff promoted the bar in a newsletter.
Rumours & Innuendo opened four years ago. It will close after a final farewell with customers on Saturday night.