Nabby's Restaurant, at the corner of Route 59 and Naperville-Plainfield Road, is in the cross-hairs of construction.
On Thursday afternoon, Nabby's owner Paul Hamity leard that the road construction project that for two years has road-blocked his restaurant won't be done until spring or later. He and his customers were taking the news hard.
"I hope you make it, Paul," chimed in one diner.
"The last I heard, it was supposed to be done before Christmas," said Hamity, who's owned Nabby's for more than 20 years. He seemed to bravely force a smile.
Hamity was right, but not completely. Transportation big-wigs and politicians came to Plainfield last week to congratulate themselves that most of the $89 million effort to widen Route 59 from two lanes to five will be finished by Thanksgiving. Only the part between Renwick Road and Illinois 126 -- an area that includes Nabby's -- will remain under construction at least until next spring.
Between the recession and road-building, Hamity's trade is off about a third, he says. But he's hanging in better than some business owners he knows. Angelina's Family Restaurant, south of Plainfield, didn't make it to the ribbon-cutting.
"They're just killing some of us off," Hamity said.
Nabby's has suffered from road work for nearly five consecutive years of construction on routes 59, 30 and 126. Hamity hears rumors crews soon will start tearing up Naperville-Plainfield Road to replace water mains.
"Why can't they just finish one thing before they start something else?" he'd like to know.
Wal-Mart workers Angelicia Barajas, of Plainfield, and Claralicia Torrez, of Romeoville, were finishing up their french fries when they heard the news.
"Oh, no," Barajas said, "with Christmas coming..."
"Winter, snow," Torrez finished her friend's sentence. "A lot more heavy traffic…"
Even before the first snow falls, Barajas has to spend an extra hour on the road making the daily round trip to work. It takes Torrez twice the normal travel time because of the construction.
Will it all pay off in the end? Will business be better once the widening is finished?
"By the time they get it done, they'll need three lanes (in each direction)," Hamity said.