CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Pagliai’s Pizza, Hangar 9, and Fat Patties are all long time businesses on South Illinois Avenue in Carbondale, also known as ‘The Strip.' And right now, they are all up for sale.
Currently, Pagliai’s and Hangar 9 are all still open for business, however, Fat Patties has had it’s doors locked and for sale signs in the window since Southern Illinois University went on winter break.
Heartland News reporters reached out to the owners of these businesses for comment, but have not gotten a response as of yet.
President of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, Jennifer Olson thinks these business owners have been working hard for decades serving local residents and SIU students. While becoming a town staple is a reward in it of it’s own, it can also be exhausting.
“It makes for cool experiences, especially for people who went to SIU and return for Homecoming or other events," she said. "But I think everybody is just at a point of their business is at a mature place and they’re ready to go enjoy life.”
Although, Olson says she does worry about the lack of locals and visitors taking advantage of these businesses and the ones that aren’t up for sale.
“I walk to lunch a lot and go to our local mom and pops up along the strip, and I walk alone most of the time,” she said.
Olson said she still hears complaints about downtown parking, even though metered lots sit just behind most buildings. She believes people need to start using them or even better, walk to destinations downtown.
Something Olson said she believes in, is the entire City of Carbondale changing it’s attitude on how they do business, in that businesses there depend almost solely on the dwindling student population at SIUC to patron the stores.
“I don’t think you can depend entirely on the students at this point,” she said. "We don’t have the enrollment for that. You have to get your townspeople coming to your business and you have to get people from these small communities coming around.”