CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Business owners and workers were able to get back into the city Wednesday to continue cleaning up after the weekend’s protests. For most, it’s the first time they’ve been allowed in the city since around 1 p.m. on Sunday, because of the extended curfew.
Austin Gatto, general manager of Corner Alley said “we’re almost finished cleaning up. We’ll repair the windows here and get the computers fixed then we’re back in here."
He said a large portion of the cleanup was done by volunteers who came out immediately after the protests.
“The community came out actually right afterward and helped us out a lot. That was huge, they came out helped us clean up the glass. They were helping clean up and they were here before us. They cleaned up the whole streets; everything down 4th St., down Euclid, it was a big help.”
Across the street, restaurants like The Chocolate Bar, still have a few weeks of work left to go. Dominic Fanelli said “we’re all competing with contractors right now because everything in downtown Cleveland needs some major attention.”
Down the road at Downtown Convenience, they ran into other problems due to the curfew. Chaitanyi Joshi said the store was robbed a second time Tuesday night because they were unable to board up the broken glass window due to the curfew hours.
“The glass was broke. We tried to stay here 24 hours to guard the store, but then the cops came here and said you can’t stay up here.”
He walked home and said Wednesday was the first time he and other store owners were able to come back to board up the shop.
He said people took cigarettes, food items, money from the register and a DVD player. They’re still taking account of everything lost. He said it will be about 3 to 6 months until the window can be replaced and things will be back to normal.
Until then, they’re closed through Monday and he wants to have security at the store until the window is fixed. “It’s been tough times. It’s been testing times, but we’ll get through this.”