Downtown bars, restaurants don't expect protests to disturb NYE

Downtown bars, restaurants don't expect protests to disturb NYE

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - This is a holiday week, so besides protests for Tamir Rice, there are other events planned for downtown Cleveland. But is all the civil action deterring people from heading downtown for New Year's Eve?

As we found out, that doesn't appear to be the case.

There are those on social media who have said they will be avoiding downtown, due to the protests and traffic disruption. But everyone we spoke with a day before the holiday said they don't expect to be affected and won't be changing plans.

The bars and restaurants on East 4th Street have big plans for New Year's Eve, and they don't anticipate protests to spoil the fun.

"It's going to be an amazing night, a great party," said Greenhouse Tavern general manager Andrew Watts.

"We'll be doing a live DJ all night, dinner, dancing," added Corner Alley general manager Mike Grasso.

After the verdict in the Michael Brelo case back in May, things turned violent in the entertainment neighborhood. Diners were disturbed by an onrush of protestors.

"It was a scary moment. It happened really abruptly," said Watts.

But he says they are confident the demonstrations will remain peaceful. They are reassured by the police presence they've noticed lately.

"It's completely safe down here. CPD, the mayor's office knows what to do and how to react, and prepare before they have to react," Watts said.

"I just hope that everybody is safe and everyone protests peacefully," said James Siemer.

At Corner Alley, they are still gearing up for a big walk-up crowd.

"We've already had a lot of reservations. Pretty much all the lanes are reserved for the whole evening. We're expecting a really good turnout," said Grasso.

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