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Downtown Denver Restaurant Manager Says Violent Crime Hurting Business

(CBS4) -- It's an issue that's affecting all of us in Denver, but none more so than downtown businesses.

16th and wazee downtown
(credit: CBS)

"It's scary, being completely honest; it's very scary," said Gabriel DeCastro, assistant general manager at El Tejano and Loaded near Market Street and 20th Street. "We have to have cops every Friday and Saturday. We have to double up on security just so I can keep the staff and my people who come to enjoy themselves safe."

DeCastro is seeing more and more crime in the area, and he said it's hurting business. The two establishments have only been open about eight months, but still feel the impact.

"Maybe two, three weeks ago, someone got shot in the corner," Decastro said. "There are fights on the corner, fights across the street, they block the street, they fight on the street. The shootings, knives -- it's been very challenging. It's something that I didn't expect. I believe the owners and higher management didn't expect it at all."

Saturday night, Denver police responded to another shooting in the area near 16th Street and Wazee Street, just about four blocks away from El Tejano and Loaded, but DeCastro said he's not shocked.

RELATED: 2 Men Shot On Wazee Street In Downtown Denver Early Sunday

"I wish I was, but I'm not at all," he said. "It's something that's been happening, and I wish it wasn't."

DeCastro is hoping for some revitalization in the area and is asking the community to behave so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of Downtown.

"We have to get through it because it's our job Everyone needs to make money," DeCastro said. "But have fun without fighting and getting in trouble."

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