Royal Oak restaurant owner blames closure on lack of parking; mayor says otherwise

Andiamo leaves city

By Priya Mann - Reporter, Amber Ainsworth

ROYAL OAK, Mich. - The owner of a Royal Oak restaurant said the business is leaving because there isn't enough parking, but the mayor is saying otherwise.

Andiamo announced its this weekend after serving customers in Royal Oak for nearly two decades.

"Between parking and landlord not renewing, we could not stay," owner Joe Vicari said.

Vicari said the restaurant lost a parking lot to a neighboring construction project, and the loss is costing the eatery $20,000 a month.

Mayor Michael Fournier doesn't agree with Vicari.

"If you are not offering a new and relevant product. We have other business that have reinvented themselves and invested and doing well," Fournier said.

Vicari argued that the problem isn't food, it's parking.

"I think the mayor has sour grapes. It's not a lack of food quality but a lack of parking," he said.

Fournier said there are more than a thousand parking spots within a block of the restaurants that plan to close, and a new project will add 580 spots.

"It's always sad to see businesses go but it's not our job to build our entire future around a handful of business," Fournier said.

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