Uptown Charlotte business owners awake to destruction after protests

Uptown Charlotte business owners awake to destruction after protests

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Several uptown Charlotte business owners are sweeping up broken glass and taking stock of ransacked shelves after protests erupted into violence.

Across the Carolinas, protests over the death of George Floyd have started peacefully, but they have eventually turned violent.

Floyd, 46, died after he was detained for questioning regarding a possible forgery in progress. Video of his death caught by bystanders showed a Minneapolis police officer, identified as Derek Chauvin, holding his knee to Floyd’s neck for more than five minutes as Floyd pleaded for air, sparking outrage.

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Several uptown staples are starting to clean up and recover.

This includes Wells Fargo on Trade and Tryon streets, where Channel 9 crews saw graffiti on windows and broken glass, Element Condos on West Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and broken glass and windows next door at a 7/11.

Restaurants were hit hard in uptown as well, including the Carolina Ale House, where it appeared someone took a scooter and threw it through the window, as well as McCormick and Schmick’s nearby.

In addition, two other restaurants that were hit hard during protests over the weekend were 5Church and The King’s Kitchen.

King’s Kitchen, which is owned by Jim Noble and opened in 2010, had several broken windows. CMPD said Noble partners with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Dream Center and donates 100% of the profits from his restaurant to feed the poor.

In an announcement on Twitter, 5Church said it will be closed until further notice because of the damage it sustained during the protests. It added for the community to “Stay Safe.”

Rachel Kamen is the director of operations at 204 North. The front entrance of the restaurant was smashed after another night of protests-- some of which turned violent.

Kamen said the restaurant, like many others, was already dealing with challenges from mandated shutdowns due to COVID-19.

Many of workers have been out of work for months and now that may be furthered delayed.

“We just reopened on Thursday, brought our staff back to work and now their going to miss a few days of work which is unfortunate,” Kamen said.

Kamen said there’s empathy for why people even feel the need to protest, but she’s also concerned for her staff and making sure they still have jobs to come to.

Julie Chambers owns a cupcake shop near the French Quarter in uptown

Businesses nearby suffered physical damage overnight.

“We are like a family here. All these businesses, we try to support each other,” Chambers said.

Many businesses have started boarding up their windows as a buffer. A few of them took the time to say something positive. One board reads “Love, not hate.”

Several business owners told Channel 9 they’ve been closing early, in case things escalate late into the night.

Some, aren’t opening at all.