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ComEd Serves Up Trouble For Restaurant After Utility-Pole Accident

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The owner of a Near North Side restaurant blames a stalled ComEd repair for his loss of business. (CBS)

The owner of a Near North Side restaurant blames a stalled ComEd repair for his loss of business. (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — ComEd is getting some heat, all because of a damaged power pole outside a Near North Side restaurant.

The owner says the utility has been dragging its feet and despite promises, failing to fix it. He told CBS 2’s Mike Parker it’s costing him thousands of dollars a day.

Somebody’s car ran into a power pole and came close to bringing it down. Now it barely stands, damaged and tilted at a 30-degree angle, propped up by a long boom mounted on a ComEd truck. It’s been like that for two weeks.

The Com Ed truck and yards of yellow “keep out” tape is in the rear parking lot the Pakeeza restaurant at 1011 N. Orleans. It’s a café popular with cab drivers. But because the entire lot had been closed by Com Ed until a few days ago, customers have stayed away in droves.

“People are coming and they need the parking. In this area, if you don’t have parking, you don’t have business,” owner Riyaz Muhammad said.

Taxi driver Gurpal Mangat put it this way: “Most cab drivers see there’s no parking, they go home.”

The owner says he has called Com Ed many times and got nowhere.

“Whenever I call,” says Muhammad, “holding time is 40 minutes, 50 minutes, one hour, one hour 10 minutes. That’s the holding time.”

Late Monday, after CBS 2 called the utility, ComEd promised that a repair crew would be on the scene at 9 a.m. Tuesday to fix the broken pole and reopen the lot.

Muhammad said he’ll believe it when he sees it.

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