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La Feast, Neighboring Businesses Still Closed After Roof Collapse

Downtown Royal Oak eateries on Monday were awaiting the findings of a structural engineer to find out when the buildings could be opened again.

Three local businesses in downtown Royal Oak on Monday awaited findings of an independent structural engineer who will help determine when they can reopen after at restaurant on South Main Street.

“The owners of the building said that a structural engineer was coming out this afternoon to determine if the roof collapse affected the stability of the walls in my building,” said Richard Hermann, owner of , which next door to La Feast to the south.

The collapse, which occurred Saturday morning, has affected Beyond Juice, La Feast and Hermann’s Bakery on the east side of Main Street. 

The structural engineer will report his findings to city officials on whether the buildings are safe for occupancy and operation. "If the engineer certifies that the structure is safe, the businesses can reopen," City Manager Don Johnson said Monday.

The air-conditioning unit on the roof of La Feast that "was on the verge of falling into the building" has been safely removed, Johnson said.

John Bonner, one of the owners of Beyond Juice, said there was no visible damage in his building. “We’ve lost at least $3,000 since Saturday morning,” Bonner said as he anxiously awaited the engineer's report.

Customers of the downtown businesses were surprised to see their favorite merchants closed. Jim Thiel, who lives in downtown Detroit, has been coming for his baked goods at Hermann’s for more than a decade.  “Baked goods like this are hard to find in downtown Detroit," Thiel said.  "I take the bus all the way to Royal Oak to visit Hermann’s."

Hermann’s also supplies fresh bakery items to local restaurants, including The Emory in Ferndale, and Black Finn and Pronto in Royal Oak. 

“We always have a Plan B," Pronto manager Suede Garret-Alan said. “Thank goodness no one was hurt and that it happened in the morning instead of midafternoon.”

Charlie Gross of Detroit normally goes to Beyond Juice at least once a week. “Whenever I’m in the area around lunchtime, I like to stop by here to get a smoothie,” said Gross, who was surprised to find his regular stop closed Monday.

An owner’s representative at La Feast was waiting for the structural engineer to arrive at lunchtime Monday. A contractor showed up around 1 p.m. and they went up to the roof to begin their analysis. No time frame has been given for the structural engineer's report on the stability of the buildings and when they can reopen.

Lee September 13, 2011 at 11:31 AM
missing Hermans Bakery, hope it can open soon.

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