Friday was the first night St. Louis police restricted traffic along Washington Avenue, in an attempt to cut down on criminal activity.
The strip between 10th and 14th became a pedestrian mall from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Jonathan Andrus owns Gelateria Tavolini, at 14th and Washington. Though his employees put all the gelato away at 11 p.m. on Fridays, he likes the idea of restricting car traffic.
"You don't get the traffic from people who would drive-up, park, run-in, and run-out. But you do have a lot more people walking around because they're walking in the street. I think walking traffic could go well for us. I don't really see how cutting the car traffic out is going to be hurtful."
Danny Han, chef at Mizu Sushi, tells a different story.
"Yeah, we're usually pretty busy on Friday nights and we were down about twenty percent," Han said Saturday. "And I was curious why it was slow. Next door had an effect, too, so mainly right here in this neighborhood.
At the Dubliner, manager Tim Holland likes the concept of a pedestrian mall along Washington Avenue.
"There was a very heavily increased police presence on Washington last night," said Holland Saturday. "It was very apparent for anybody to see maybe 6 cops on corner of 11th and Washington. There wasn't as much rough-housing as you'd normally expect here on Washington. Normally the crowds get a little rowdy on Friday-Saturday nights. The traffic was obviously non-existent, but that was pretty helpful, I think. It makes Washington more of a fun place. So people can cross the street without fear of any cars, on-coming, things like that."
Holland Friday was a good night.
"It did not affect business. We were very busy, busier than we expected, actually."
The closure is planned for Fridays and Saturdays over the next several weeks.