Some Businesses Suffer During Summit

One Yolk restaurant location reported weekend business down as much as 40 percent

There weren't the major, widespread property damage that some had feared, but this weekend's NATO Summit didn't do many favors for several downtown businesses.

"I can't wait until tomorrow morning," said Taki Kastanis, the owner of Chicago's Yolk restaurants.

Kastanis said his location on East 11th Street and South Michigan Avenue took significant losses over the past few days. Weekend business, he said, was down as much as 40 percent.

At the Weather Mark Tavern, on 15th and Michigan, owner Mark Stern said his business dropped as much as 20 percent.

"I think there was a lot of confusion about what to expect. [There were] a lot of anxious people in the neighborhood," he said.

The downturn wasn't for lack of trying. Brasseries Restaurant, for example, offered a NATO discount: 20 percent off of food and drink special between Friday and Monday.

Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) said the short-term sacrifice may pay off long-term, with Chicago on the world map and showcased as a world class city.

"The city shined brightly. We can bring in new businesses. We can bring in new tourists. We can increase the tourism level and we can strike the right balance of what happened in these last few days to the future of this city," he said.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, in a post-NATO press conference said several commercial deals were already in the works as a result of the weekend.

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