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Several downtown Roanoke restaurants close early due to protests

(WDBJ)
Published: May. 31, 2020 at 9:11 PM EDT
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Sunday marked day two of Star City voices speaking out against nationwide police brutality and speaking up for equality.

"We just got outdoors open, we just got our freedom, and now this," said Christina Collins, who passed out blue beads to protestors. She said the beads symbolized peace.

While the protestors continue to say violence is not the goal, businesses took precautions Saturday, and some owners were on edge.

"A little bit of panic, a little bit of 'oh my goodness, what's going to happen now after everything else that's been going on,'" said Eric Dilauro, co-owner of Table 50.

For the past two weekends,Table 50, which does not have permanent outside seating, has had tables outside for customers to dine at, shutting down Market Street.

According to Dilauro, business has been good, but around 8:30 p.m, service became to-go only.

"If they still wanted their dinner, if they hadn't been served, we could give it to them to go, go ahead and get them paid up and get them home," said Dilauro, talking about his customers.

Across the street at Jack Browns, the general manager had the same thought process.

"We put our people first. We're a people-first company, we don't want them in the streets getting involved in something they don't want to be in just for a few extra bucks," said Alexander Harless.

Jack Brown's also has temporary outside seating in market square and closed about an hour before they typically would.

Harless emphasized the importance of safety for his customers, his staff and for the Roanoke community. He made the decision Saturday afternoon to close at 8 p.m. Sunday.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ7. All rights reserved.

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