Downtown restaurant owner says protesters intimidating customers, willing to speak with group

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DENVER -- The owner of a restaurant on the 16th Street Mall says he’s ready to talk to a group rallying for Denver's homeless community. The group, Occupy Denver, has been setting up outside the Corner Bakery on Sunday mornings for months. The restaurant's owner says it has negatively impacted his business.

"It’s tough seeing innocent individuals trying to approach our restaurant and not walk through the doors because they feel intimidated or feel like they are being harassed," owner Jamie Cutter says.

Cutter says the protests began after a bakery manager refused to sign a petition opposing the city’s urban camping ban.

Cutter says he’s now ready to talk to Occupy Denver and resolve the issue.

“I’m at the point where our business is suffering tremendously downtown on Sundays. We’re cutting back on hours for our employees and I’m ready for conversations with the group," said Cutter.

Occupy Denver said it had no comment -- yet -- on Cutter's offer to talk.

On Sunday, the group’s spokesperson told FOX31 the Corner Bakery treated the homeless unfairly.

"There’s a line in the sand where businesses should be playing a role in society to be part of the rising tide that lifts all ships," said Occupy Denver's Brian Loma.

Cutter says he’s not sure why his business was targeted since he’s been a supporter of the homeless community for years.

It’s unclear whether the bakery and the protesters will come to an agreement.

Occupy Denver has said it will keep protesting until the group gets what it wants.

These protests precede a homeless "right to rest" issue coming up in the city’s May election.

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