BY ANGIE JACKSON firstname.lastname@example.org
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Robin Bisel and Jean Cline licked ice cream cones at Bardon’s Wonder Freeze off Front Street and wondered how they’d maneuver through traffic when finished with their treats.
It’s a question that’s given some Bardon’s customers a brain freeze since the next door property owner this month blocked driveways, including one off Garfield Avenue that connected to the ice cream shop’s parking lot, said Jim Kratky, whose father owns Bardon’s. Stakes and chains barricade driveways to the former Arby’s, which is now vacant property, and cement parking stops separate the two parking lots.
“When we pulled in I said, ‘Well, that’s going to be tough pulling out of here with the light and everything.’ It’s not good for his business,” said Bisel, a 40-year Bardon’s customer. “It could possibly stop me from coming.”
The next door property owner, Ruth Turnquist, deferred comment to her son, who did not return messages.
Bardon’s, at 1100 E. Front St., has one entrance and one exit off Garfield Avenue, just south of Front Street. Customers often used a Garfield Avenue driveway that’s farther south of the intersection and connects to the Bardon’s parking lot. People also parked in the vacant lot, Kratky said.
“The owner’s son, I guess, doesn’t want us using his parking lot or his entrance on the south side of my lot,” Kratky said. “It’s his property.”
The property owner offered to keep the driveways open for $900 a month, Kratky said. He couldn’t swing the fee but hopes to iron out the matter without a trip to court.
Kratky worries for customer safety and his business. A left turn into Bardon’s can lead to vehicle back-ups into the Front Street intersection and chill customers’ appetites.
“Understandably, people start honking and honking, so the customer trying to turn in gives up and goes on,” he said. “It’s affecting the business, there’s no question in that.”
Bonnie Szydlowski buys a milkshake once a week during her lunch break. She’s waited through two or three lights in an attempt to exit the parking lot.
“I haven’t gone in a couple weeks because of it,” Szydlowski said. “It’s very difficult to get in there and it’s even more difficult to get out.”
Kratky wants to assure concerned customers the business that’s been in his family since 1967 isn’t going anywhere.
“We’ll get this resolved and we’re going to survive through it. It’s just it’s no fun, that’s all,” he said.