Inauguration viewers at Bipartisan Café share thoughts on Trump and future


Before protests started in downtown Portland, a group gathered in a pretty unique place Friday morning to watch the new president take his oath of office.

Customers at the Bipartisan Café in southeast Portland had mixed reactions about Friday’s inauguration of President Donald Trump.

Peter Emerson, the owner of the café, said the name simply means that everyone is welcome, not that people don't have political opinions, something that was apparent Friday.

People on both sides of the aisle turned to their cell phones to watch history unfold in the nation's capital.

Customer Paul Hunt is not a supporter of now-President Trump, but couldn't help but watch his inauguration anyway.

"I'd be lying saying I didn't want to watch it. I mean I sat here drinking 4 cups of coffee, I came here for one," Hunt said. "He's kind of like a magnet for people to watch because they want to see what's going to happen, whether it's good or bad."

A few tables away, Rodney Schackmann also turned to his cell phone in support of the new president.

"I'm excited for this administration to get off and get running, and hopefully some positive changes will come from it," he said.

It was no accident that customers were turning to the screens in their pockets since the big screen TV on the wall was turned off.

Last week, café owners took to Facebook, writing, "The Bipartisan cafe, for one day, will become the Partisan Cafe. On Friday, January 20th, we will not be showing the Inauguration ceremony. We cannot support a man who would accept the help of a hostile foreign nation in order to steal the highest office in our land."

Emerson said it was no easy decision, adding that many of his employees and customers feel threatened by Trump.

He said he doesn't support the new president, either.

"If a customer came into my café and spoke to people how he spoke to people on the stump, I would kick them out of the café,” Emerson explained.

While some customers said they were disappointed by the decision not to show the inauguration, others said it is more important what Trump does than what was said Friday morning.

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