Manlius parking troubles continue

Nothing changes since last board meeting; business owners form merchants association

— Not much has changed over the past two weeks for businesses such as Café 119 and the Manlius Cinema, aside from the fact that their customers seem to be angrier in general.

“Customers are really angry, that’s for sure. They’re angry at Magley and the whole situation,” said Café 119 owner Chuck Porto. “They’ve been yelling at the tow truck drivers. I had to go out [to the lot] one night with one of my customers and tell him ‘It’s not really his fault,’” he said.

Both Tobin and Porto said they’ve been going out of their way to warn each customer that comes in about the situation. But Maria Porto, a waitress at Café 119, said that the reminder is another thing she has to remember, and for a busy waitress, sometimes it’s hard to do.

“We’ve been really good at telling everybody that comes in, but we got slammed all at once on Saturday. As a waitress, you get into this mode where you’re just doing what you need to do and it can slip your mind to say ‘Oh by the way, move your car,’” she said. “At one point you realize ‘Oh my gosh I never told them.’ Now it’s another step we have to remember instead of just drinks and food and normal things.”

All that Tobin is concerned about is taking action to solve this problem as soon as possible. He’s not as worried about his business as he is about other people and the inconveniences this brings for them.

“My customers are really understanding,” he said with a smile. “They’ll come. I tell them ‘The theater’s been around for 95 years and it’ll be there for a few more.’”

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