The East Village was where President Obama started his 2008 campaign. Now four years later, it’s where he decided to end his campaign.
Many streets in the area were closed off and shut down for the event, cutting off traffic access to many of the locally owned businesses in the area. While some owners said they were initially concerned that would mean a reduction in customers on Monday, they found that was not the case. Some owners and employees also said that judging from the President’s visit four years ago, the event could mean more business in the future for the area.
“Hopefully it will bring people down here that haven`t ever been to the east village, it will be an eye opening experience for them for what the east village has to offer,” Debbie Feller, Gong Fu Tea.
“There’s been such great growth in the four years in the east village, that I think just that vitality has really helped them decide to be here tonight,” said Teresa Adams-Tomka, one of two owners of Kitchen Collage.
Some owners said more local businesses have moved in, and the customer base has grown exponentially. They say the last visit by President Obama also brought the area and its businesses recognition.
Officials with the Obama campaign say all east village businesses were asked over the weekend if it was okay to close the streets. It’s also owners’ choice on whether or not to allow a security sweep.