“It's going to be interesting to see the dynamic once these buildings are gone,” said Dominic Zacari.
Zacari opened his motorcycle accessory and clothing shop on Ridge Road back in 2003 just about the same time Kodak was laying-off thousands of employees. He says he wasn't worried. “I'm not really dependent on them walking up and down the street and going, "hey look there's a motorcycle shop I need some gloves". Whereas a lot of the other people on this block were dependent on the foot traffic from Kodak,” said Zacari.
A few doors down at the Brew Haus, owner Richard Scorse was worried. “Business has been tough for all of us. Kodak downsizing, traffic patterns, dust debris, banging loud noises it's been very rough on all the businesses,” said Scorse.
“Kodak was the economic engine that drove all the businesses in the area and drove most of the housing in the area,” said Rochester City Councilmember Bob Stevenson. Stevenson says Kodak’s downsizing killed many restaurants along Ridge Road. “Businesses that depend upon the Kodak trade, they're folding,” said Stevenson.
Despite the loss of foot-traffic in the area, Zacari and Scorse remain optimistic. They say a new Chinese food restaurant and a Tattoo shop show that many businesses are willing to stick it out until Ridge Road turns a corner. “There's going to be some growing pains for some of the businesses that depended on Kodak but in general Ridge Road will go on,” said Zacari.