Centre Market Stores Expect Less Foot Traffic Without OVMC

Kim Pappas, left, owner of Michael’s Beef House in Centre Market, and son Michael Pappas III serve customers Friday afternoon.

WHEELING — Restaurants and stores in Centre Market already compete for customers on a daily basis, and the closing of Ohio Valley Medical Center means there will be even fewer people coming around at lunch time, say those who work in Centre Market.

At Michael’s Beef House, owner Kim Pappas doesn’t expect there to be a major downturn in business at Centre Market with OVMC closing. However, she said she had noticed a slight loss of business when just 70 employees at OVMC were layed off earlier this year.

About 1,200 employees are expected to lose their jobs when OVMC and East Ohio Medical Center close their doors in 60 to 90 days.

“Even with the layoffs a while back, there are so many restaurants in the area and not enough foot traffic,” she said.

She also wonders what will happen if the hospital property is left empty and unattended.

“We will have all the homeless (people) coming to that area,” she said.

Alicia Manning, manager at Market Vines, said the cafeteria at OVMC is closed on the weekends, though people are still working there and “need to eat.”

Often they would call Market Vines on Saturdays and Sundays for delivery orders, and Manning said she personally has delivered orders totaling more than $100 to groups working at OVMC.

“I would say at least 15 times in the past year and a half we have had a call for delivery there, and they always tipped their server well,” Manning said. “We took care of them, and they took care of us.”

Employees at Coleman’s Fish Market reported OVMC workers do come for lunch there, and they will miss that business.

More importantly, the hospital’s cafeteria orders wholesale fish items from Coleman’s, they said.

“There’s going to be an effect — a lot of people come here for lunch,” said Peggy Porter of nearby Wood-N-Stitches.

“I don’t think it will be real bad, but there will be some (loss). I just hate to see it go.”

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