Norry streets construction pushes retirement sooner for businesswoman

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NORTHUMBERLAND – A Northumberland businesswoman is heading towards retirement a little earlier than planned…one reason is because of the ongoing PennDOT construction projects in the borough.

Laurie Berard, owner of Townside Garden Café and wife of Northumberland Mayor Dan Berard, told WKOK in an exclusive interview she is ‘semi-retiring’ and construction has hurt her business, “25 years we’ve been here, but I have to say that the PennDOT project has really put a hurting on our walk-in business for lunch, because people just don’t want to come to Northumberland.”   Berard says the restaurant will only be open Thursdays for lunch, and then will only offer catering services.

Despite the hit her restaurant took from construction, Berard says she was already interested in moving toward retirement, “I’m not frustrated by that. I go with the flow, I’m not someone who gets fussed by much. But its time.”

Berard, who turns 65 next week, says she also wants to spend more time with her family. Berard announced her semi-retirement after almost 40 years in the restaurant/catering business.

Other businesses complained of lower sales due to PennDOT projects, especially during work on Duke Street. Current work on King and Front Streets continues through Thanksgiving, with new detours in place that continue to cause traffic backups throughout the borough.

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