By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If you’re looking to enjoy cocktails on the patio, you may want to make a stop on Nicollet Mall.

It’s the last summer before construction will impact patio dining on the mall.

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“It’s going to look nice when it’s done, but the process will hurt business,” The News Room general manager Brad Schwichtenberg said.

He says businesses on the mall have already seen a small decline in customers since buses are no longer running on the street during construction.

“It limits some of the traffic that is walking on the street, people leaving to their buses going to happy hours,” he said.

The biggest impact will be next summer when work begins on the sidewalks. Patios will need to be removed for six weeks on one side of the street, then another six weeks on the other side.

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“I hope people can sit on the patio,” Schwichtenberg said. “But with jackhammers going on three feet from them, it’s going to be difficult to see.”

Jerry Underwood, from Maple Grove, makes regular trips to downtown Minneapolis every summer for Sunday brunch. He says the construction may force him to make other plans.

“Not during the construction and noise, not going to happen,” Underwood said.

He did say the finished project would likely bring him back.

“We’ll probably get some extra trips in,” Underwood said.

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The project is set to finish in 2017.

Kate Raddatz