Residents Call It The Downtown Ghost Town

, Posted: Mon, November 12 2012 at 6:30 PM, Updated: Mon, November 12 2012 at 7:00 PM

A popular Downtown Medford eatery is forced to close shop...some Downtown business owners say it's tough to keep businesses going and this is the latest example.

Often when you take a step inside Medford’s Woolworth building you see a line of people, waiting for soup at Spoons.

Today, the entrance is empty- a sign reads "Do not enter, unsafe building. It is a misdemeanor to enter."

"Now that they've got that thing posted down there, it's got to be beating off business," says Gary McColgan who another business owner in the Woolworth building above the eatery.

"They're trying to revitalize Medford, and they're not helping any of the people who are really taking strides to make this place successful," he continues.

The City Building Safety Director says the ventilation system needs a hood instead of a fan. Catch 22, Spoons can't cut into the outside walls because the Woolworth is an historic building. The other option is to put in a hood that vents through all four floors.

"It is frustrating, it's making it hard on small businesses," says Fat Kat Tattoo owner Jeff Rahenkamp.
He says Spoons isn’t the first business to face a roll call of regulations in Medford.

"If I didn't own my building I would have moved out of downtown years ago."

After parking changes and continued demands some simply close their doors, creating what resident's call a Downtown Ghost Town.

"I walked through Downtown Medford the other night and I thought, this is a dead zone," says resident Tom Wood.
 Businesses say it’s a struggle...
"At some point you run out of patience for dealing with this stuff," says McColgan. ... facing so much against them in a still fragile economy.

Both parties are hoping to get this handled...the City Building Safety Director says he's sympathetic and believes it can be resolved.

According to the city,  the owner of Spoons could cook offsite and transport the soup back to the business.

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