PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Portland businesses will be closing up shop Saturday due to expected protests downtown.
Some business owners told FOX 12 they will not open Saturday, while others are planning to open later than usual.
It’s all due to demonstrations and protests that police have been planning for over the last several weeks.
Some business owners had previously told FOX 12 they were planning to treat Saturday as “business as usual.” However, now some are saying they want to be certain their employees and customers are safe.
Josh Johnston, owner of Paddy’s Bar and Grill, said they plan to open at 4 p.m. Saturday.
“I’m really hoping the city backs up our police to help manage it so we don’t have some of the violence and vandalism problems we’ve had in the past,” Johnston said.
Paddy’s staff will also bring in their patio furniture to take away a possible target, as it has been thrown in the street by demonstrators in the past.
“I think it’s unfortunate that people are becoming so polarized and you know the two extreme sides, there just seems to be so much anger that it’s escalating,” Johnston said.
Just across Southwest 1st Avenue is Dragonwell Bistro. The restaurant’s owner said they have had their windows smashed during a past protest, so they will not be open Saturday.
Employees at the nearby Paul Mitchell The School Portland said they closed early Friday and will be closed Saturday.
Malka Diamonds and Jewelry and Starbucks on Southwest 3rd Avenue are also staying closed Saturday. Starbucks, according to a post inside their store, will close because of “strong encouragement from the Portland Police Department.”
Petunia’s Pies & Pastries posted a sign on their door saying they would be closed Saturday, as well, due to the protests.
Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub downtown has shifted hours to open at 4 p.m. Earlier in the week, the owners canceled an amateur boxing event.
Police announced that the Hawthorne Bridge would be closed starting early Saturday morning and some downtown roads would be preemptively blocked. Officers said they are prepared for situations that could arise from the demonstrations.
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