Downtown Denver businesses board up ahead of possible Election Day turmoil

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DENVER (KDVR) — Some downtown Denver businesses have already started boarding up their windows ahead of Election Day, anticipating possible riots.

It was business as usual inside Sole St. Shoes on Friday.

Outside, though, may have suggested otherwise to people walking by — where a large metal fence sits in front of the store’s windows.

“A welder custom made it and had it installed,” said Sole St. Shoes owner Zach Monks.

He also plans on installing plexiglass before Election Day.

“Being that we are a little bit more higher target downtown, we felt we needed to take more precautions than the standard boards,” said Monks

Other nearby businesses along 16th Street have also started boarded up their windows, though they remained open.

“I think regardless of who wins, it could be a possibility of people being upset or celebrating. I mean, who knows?” Monks said.

Monks says Denver police reached out to him and other business owners, warning of possible social unrest starting Nov. 3.

“I haven’t seen many places with the actual metal bars up,” said Melissa Trosa as she walked along 16th Street.

“We’ve seen a lot of boarding, but I wouldn’t say to that level,” she added.

But Monks has reason to take extra precautions.

“The last time, they kicked in the front door,” said Monks, motioning toward the outside of the door.

His store has been looted four times in the last five months.

He estimates thieves made off with about $140,000 in merchandise.

“It’s devastating. Not only is it difficult — just the loss of product — but the product we deal with is what they refer to is allocated. It’s more limited product where it’s not just replaceable. We order our product nine months in advance,” said Monks.

They’ll stay open through the weekend, but Monks hasn’t decided if they’ll open their doors on Election Day.

“It’s an unfortunate situation and I think it speaks volumes to where we are at in 2020 in the U.S.,” said Trosa, alongside her friend Reeba Ivam, as they passed the store.

“This election is a divisive one. It’s one of the most divisive I think in the history of our nation,” they added.

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