DENVER (CBS4) – As volunteers help to clean Civic Center Park and other areas of Denver, businesses along Colfax are re-boarding windows after another night of riots on Sunday. What began as a peaceful protest once again turned into something more violent after the city’s 8 p.m. curfew.
That meant the next morning, businesses were washing graffiti off the sides of their buildings and boarding up broken windows.
“It is frustrating,” said the owner of Buffalo Bills Wings and Things, Zac Gabani. “I think the part of breaking is pretty counter intuitive.”
Gabani said his shop stayed open throughout the protests to help make sure everyone was fed and taken care of.
“We were the only place open to feed them,” he told CBS4. “We like to support the community, we just wish they would help support us as well.”
Gabani and another employee, Mialoha Leon, said that the restaurant had a window broken out during the protests. They hadn’t boarded up in preparation, not anticipating that people would be rioting in the streets right outside the shop.
“I do think things were a little more calm last night, and I think everyone on both sides made good points,” Gabani said.
Buffalo Bill Wings and Things now has a sign out front of their restaurant that reads “minority-owned business.”
“In part we hoped that would encourage people not to damage our store as badly, or at all,” Leon said. “And just to let people know were struggling with them too. We’re at the bottom of the totem pole pretty much compared to a bunch of corporate businesses on Colfax or even in Denver really.”
A few blocks down, another business, the Fork and Spoon, also faced damage from the violent protests. CBS4 crews ran into the owner boarding up his shop on Saturday, as protesters marched nearby.
“The last couple of nights we had some blown out windows, some graffiti, were just trying to protect ourselves now,” he explained.
Business owners say they’re worried repair costs on top of the impacts of the recent COVID-19 closures, will cause some local businesses to close. While Gabani said his business is doing okay, he knows of others that are struggling.
“I think as a community people still want to go to the shops and the restaurants and wherever they like to go after this is over,” Gabani said. “And they might not be able to because of this damage, on top of the loss from coronavirus.“