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Denver's Capitol Hill Businesses Boarding Up Ahead Of Possible Protests

DENVER (CBS4)- After last week's protest at the state Capitol, businesses around Capitol Hill in Denver aren't taking any chances leading up to Inauguration Day. Many are boarding up windows while staying open just to be safe.

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This isn't the first time City, O' City has been boarded up. The restaurant, at 13th Avenue and Sherman Street, has put plywood up and taken it down a few times over the last eight months.

"We can't wait for this to be over," said Juan Flores, a manager at the restaurant. "We're definitely in the center of the city where everything happens, so we're just well-prepared for things to be different. We take it day-by-day."

City, O' City diners are still allowed inside, but from the outside, Flores says it's hard to tell.

"We have to be effective in communicating to staff and guests, 'These are our hours, they're ever-changing, these are our policies, a process that is ever-changing,' to keep up with what's going on in the world, whether it protests or COVID."

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Down the street, Capitol Hill Books, on the corner of Colfax and Grant, just un-boarded their windows after eight months of having them blocked off due to protests in the city.

"Oh boy, this last year," owner Holly Brooks remarked. "Everybody thought we were closed, no matter how many open signs we posted on those boards, they thought we were closed."

Brooks believe the boards are bad for business, especially during the pandemic.

"It was certainly very depressing and negative to have those boards up that whole time," said Brooks. "If it gets nasty, they'll put them back up for sure."

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With reports of armed protests at all 50 state Capitols, Denver businesses say the best plan of action is to be prepared.

"If unrest continues, we'll continue to take those precautions," Flores said. "As soon as we see the all clear, we're going to get the plywood down so we can get our sunlight back."

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