CLIFTON, OH (FOX19) - The reopening of the old Keller's IGA in Clifton has been stalled by constant delays.
Owner Steve Goessling says he's more anxious than anyone to get the store reopened and now he's blaming his lenders for the delay.
Goessling has been promising for months to announce a construction timeline, but the project has been sidelined by asbestos, permitting and structural issues.
As time drags on, nearby merchants like Barb McManus, who owns the Mustard Seed Boutique, say they're getting anxious.
"Everyone in Clifton is chomping at the bit to shop at that grocery store," said McManus.
McManus says having a local grocery store is good for the neighborhood's quality of life and her bottom line.
"As a business owner the difference in our business foot traffic-wise is dramatic without the grocery store so we're all hoping that it comes back soon," she said.
John Fox is a local chef who says having a neighborhood grocer is convenient.
"Part of the reason I moved down here was to be close to a grocery store and soon after we moved down here they shut down and we've been waiting over a year now for someone else to move in," said Fox.
Goessling tells FOX19 he's embarrassed by the delays and insists he's 100 percent dedicated to reopening the store. Mike Anagnostou, who owns Ludlow Wines, sympathizes with Goessling's plight.
"I'm totally supportive and as a business owner I, I join in Mr. Goessling's frustration with processes like this because I can understand what it's like," said Anagnostou.
Clifton resident David Bach says he plans to shop at the store when it reopens.
"I definitely still going to support it because this is my community, I live here, I work here and I'm definitely going to support a small business that comes in here and does anything with it," said Bach.
Goessling says the store will be trendy and have a lot of amenities like a bakery, organic foods and a large wine and beer selection.
Goessling says he hopes to announce a construction schedule soon.