Portland business owners say transients are causing problems
PORTLAND (WGME) -- Bayside is a bustling part of Portland, an area that blends both social services and popular businesses and restaurants.
That blend is leading to some problems that business owners want fixed.
Restaurant Owners say it’s difficult to get new customers because even if the food's great, people don’t want to come down to the neighborhood and deal with the environment.
The social service agencies in the area attract transients in the warmer months, and owners of restaurants like Maria’s on Cumberland Avenue say the transients bring problems into town with them.
They say it’s not necessarily the homeless population that need the services provided, its people coming into town being aggressive and making customers of these restaurants uncomfortable.
Maria's owner, Tony Napolitano, says it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make his business work.
The building Maria’s is in has been for sale for years, and he says business would be much better in a different location like the Old Port.
Napolitano says it’s a family restaurant, but the environment isn’t family friendly at all.
"We still have a good clientele, we have a great following, but it’s so much more that we could be doing,” Napolitano said. “You know, tourists and people new to the area. If they know to stay away from a certain area of town they're gonna stay away no matter what's there."
Portland's City Manager says in the coming months they'll be holding a meeting for the restaurant owners and community members to help combat the problem.