DENVER — Boards still cover windows along the 16th Street Mall.
"We had some broken windows and spray paint on glass," says owner of West of Surrender, Gary Mantelli.
Protesters began marching through the streets of Downtown Denver last week, calling for change. While the message is powerful and necessary, it hasn't helped businesses already struggling from the pandemic.
"Last Friday, because things really started to escalate downtown, we felt that people started to move away from downtown so our restaurant was pretty empty. What we expected to be a pretty big day ended up being a pretty light day," Mantelli said of business last Friday.
Down the street, Appaloosa Grill has been working with patio-only capacity and for most of this week, a time restriction.
"We’ve been shutting down a couple hours earlier than we would have because of the curfew," says Appaloosa co-owner John Qualley.
Qualley understands the protests may not be helping business but he believes in the cause.
"People ask me every day how are the riots? I’m like, 'I don’t see riots, I see marches that are very well organized and they get stronger and stronger,'" Qualley said.