Coronavirus taking financial toll on businesses in Cleveland’s popular East 4th Street district

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CLEVELAND — The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially hard on local restaurants with many struggling to keep their doors open amid safety concerns and strict regulations.This week, Michael Symon’s Lola Bistro shut down permanently. It was located in downtown Cleveland’s East 4th Street district.Pickwick & Frolic owner Nick Kostis spoke to News 5 about the challenges he and others are facing and what the future holds for the popular destination.“4th Street was a kind of forgotten little bridge street,” Kostis said. “It was a seedy little street.”But slowly and steadily, Kostis says East 4th Street underwent a complete transformation.“It started taking on a life of its own. Eventually, it became fully occupied, all these little storefronts were filled,” Kostis said.For twenty years, Pickwick & Frolic has been a staple on East 4th Street, but this year all that progress took a huge hit.“Up until the corona, we had an active lively, vibrant little street,” Kostis said. “Downtown at this point is just a shadow of its former self.”Kostis is now in a desperate financial situation, having had to cut his staff of 80 people down to 25 as people shy away from eating out.“They feel apprehensive, …

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