WILLIAMSBURG — The L train's five-weekend shutdown ends after this weekend — and many local businesses are breathing a sigh of relief.
Local businesses protested the timing of the shutdown in March, saying that spring is when retailers and restaurants try to bounce back from a tough winter.
While some businesses didn't see a huge dip in sales in the last month, others said they lost out on thousands of dollars because people couldn't take the L train from Manhattan to Williamsburg on weekends starting April 18.
Jewelry and gemstone store Synchronocity, at 167 North Ninth St., made about $2,000 less per weekend, said Miyuki Fuchs, who helps run the shop.
Locals do spend money at the shop, but the young neighbors rarely pony up as much as tourists or regular customers who come in from Manhattan on the L, Fuchs said.
"I lost a lot of business," she said. "The customers from Japan, no one knows how to use buses. These guides only say the L train."
Bars and restaurants saw a decline in business, too.
Popular beer garden Radegast Hall, at 113 North Third St., saw a significant dip in weekend traffic at a time that a manager said it should have been booming, as did places like Soft Spot, 128 Bedford Ave., and Kilo Bravo at 180 N. 10th St.
Locals would stick around the neighborhood and drink during the day, said Kilo Bravo owner Kate Buenaflor, but overall sales weren't as good as they normally are.
Business has been "terrible" after midnight, she said.
"It’s hard because there's a mass exodus at 11:15," Buenaflor said, referring to the train's stop time of 11:30 p.m. on weeknights. "It’s not good for business at all."
Still, some of the businesses that petitioned the MTA to change the timing of the shutdown said the last month wasn't as bad as they feared it would be. Others didn't see a dip in business at all.
Lexi Oliveri, owner of vintage shop Antoinette at 119 Grand St., said fewer people than usual seemed to be stopping in the last four weekends, but her sales have still been decent.
Oliveri, who signed the petition, said options like the East River Ferry and Uber's discounted UberPool rates probably helped. She and other businesses also offered a $2.75 discount on all purchases as a promotion during the shutdown.
"I definitely think the traffic was down a bit, but not as much as I thought it would be," she said. "I really thought it would be far worse."
That said, Oliveri said she'd "lose it" if the L train were to be down between Eighth and Bedford avenues for another weekend beyond this one.
"I mean, what if the trains weren’t shut down? I wonder how good my business would have been," she said. "We all have a lot of catching up to do after the winter."
But new Williamsburg business owners Hannah Dilworth and J.D. Gluckstern, of retailer Concrete + Water at 485 Driggs Ave., said they were thrilled with their first spring in Williamsburg, despite the L train shutdown.
The fruitful business they're seeing now makes them curious whether things will blow up even more after the L train starts running on weekends again.
"It's been awesome," Dilworth said.
"If people want to get out here, they'll find a way," Gluckstern said.