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'Porano' Owner Blames Convention Decline for Restaurant Closing

July 24, 2018 - 7:20 am
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ST. LOUS (KMOX) - Gerard Craft, in his statement announcing the closure of Porano Pasta on Washington Avenue, said, "We love downtown and hope they can find a way to bring back all of the amazing convention business we lost this year."

And Downtown STL Inc. President Missy Kelley says the downturn in convention traffic is true and we were warned this was coming back in 2014. As today's conventions were planned, Ferguson was playing out.

So in 2018, here we are seeing the aftermath of a really bad sales year following the events that unfolded in Ferguson,” she says.

She says what would really support businesses like Porano is people living in the neighborhood.

“Without having a strong, large residential population, it’s still very dependent on events,” she says.

Kelley says there is still more demand for residential than there is supply, but she thinks the two residential high-rises planned near the stadium could be a tipping point.