Jul. 23—NEWBURYPORT — The intersection of Pleasant and Inn streets could be off limits to pedestrians this weekend after the brick façade in back of The Candy Man store showed signs of buckling Thursday morning.
The intersection was cordoned off by police but, according to Building Inspector Greg Earls, no structural damage was found at 14 Inn St. where the candy store is located.
"There is nothing wrong with the structure, the building is structurally sound," Earls said. "It is just the brick fascia that could come down."
Earls added that a contractor is expected to begin repairs to the building Friday but the intersection of Inn and Pleasant streets could be closed to pedestrians through the weekend.
"The contractor is saying that they should be able to wrap it up by the end of the weekend," Earls said. "But we want to make sure we are doing our due diligence."
The building also houses Stone Crust Pizza. Both businesses remained open Thursday.
Oregano Pizzeria & Ristorante is across from The Candy Man. Oregano owner Claude Elias had to shut down his Inn Street dining patio Thursday about 10 a.m.
"I'm a little bit concerned," he said. "The structure looks to be compromised and that split is getting bigger. We're not sure what is going to happen but my fear is, if that façade falls, it could fall right on my patio.
"I hope they tell me there's no risk of that happening so that my patio will be open for business," he added. "But, if they say there is a risk of the façade just tumbling onto the walkway and onto the patio, then I'll be in a worse situation."
Elias said his restaurant has not been able to use its outdoor patio most of the summer because of the weather.
"It's been cold and rainy for the past six weeks. It's either that or it is hot and disgusting," he said. "That patio has been used so little and we finally have a good weekend and I can't sit anybody in it. This is the best day we've had in six weeks."
Elias added that he is confident the city will make the situation work for everyone, if possible.
"Somehow, they will figure it out. If we can't use the patio, we can't use it," he said. "But it's too bad this had to happen on the best day of the year."
Staff writer Jim Sullivan can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.