Bishop Arts Construction Taking a Bite Out of Business

It's no secret there's a lot of development going on in North Oak Cliff, especially near Davis Street. Cranes and roadblocks surround the Bishop Arts District, and some people worry the projects are taking a bite out of business.

The orange cones and signs have a lot of drivers seeing red.

“There is much cursing and frustration and anger,” said visitor Amanda Richards.

But businesses are trying to see something else.

“I look at it as opportunity,” said Shane Spillers, owner of Eno's Pizza Tavern.

Eno's has been around since 2008. Spillers said the cranes have an impact, but they aren't slicing into his bottom line too much.

“We have clear pathways and sight lines and pathways for customers to get to us,” he said.

But he knows others aren't as lucky.

“We do have businesses that are close in proximity to the immediacy of the construction and those businesses undoubtedly are hurting,” Spillers said.

Spillers has teamed up with other merchants, working closely with surrounding contractors to keep the roadblocks to a minimum, stopping big trucks from plowing down Bishop Avenue and keeping tabs on the changes.

“I like seeing things progress, so long as we don't lose what has made us so special down here,” he said.

Rachael Steinberg manages DIRT, where sales haven't been stuck in the mud, but they've slowed a bit.

“I think it's temporary and I think that, long-term, it's positive,” she said of the construction.

DIRT’s owner helped organize the recent “Christmas in July” celebration. She tells NBC 5 events like that help draw new crowds to keep business thriving.

Customer Amanda Richards said she's had to cut down on visits because a current trip to Bishop Arts takes planning.

“I know it's going to be a production,” she said.

But she loves the eclectic charm and hopes when it comes to construction, the end is in sight.

“I'm looking forward to it being over, I am. Because then it will be a much more accessible area,” Richards said.

As far as parking, a lot of the restaurants are testing out valet. Don’t want to drive? You might want to try the free Dallas Streetcar that connects with DART trains downtown.

You can hop on or off just a few blocks away.

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