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50+ Twin Cities Restaurants Closing For 'Day Without Immigrants'

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) -- Across the country, restaurants and businesses closed their doors Thursday, including more than 50 in the Twin Cities.

It is all a part of a nationwide protest dubbed "A Day Without Immigrants," designed to honor immigrants and prove how important they are to the fabric of the country.

The movement is also in direct protest to Trump administration policies, including plans to build a border wall to a crackdown on undocumented immigrants by authorities.

Two restaurants in Minneapolis closing are World Street Kitchen and Milkjam Creamery. Co-owner Saed Wadi is an immigrant himself and spent the morning posting closing signs in the restaurants' front windows.

After moving to Minnesota from Palestine 25 years ago, Wadi thought it was important for him to participate in the day of action not just for himself, but for his 55 employees. Wadi says he's paying workers for the day.

"I am a US citizen and I don't feel welcome in my own country just because of my immigrant background. That's not right," he said. "

In addition to Wadi's restaurants, many others across Minneapolis and St. Paul had signs on their doors, saying they were closed in solidarity.

In St. Paul, El Burrito Mercado announced they would be closing on Facebook, stating that almost 200 employees and family members would be joining in on the boycott.

Some workers with the day off planned to march to the state Capitol in St. Paul.

Leslie Allen was one of many customers who found closed signs and locked doors.

"I understand why they're doing it, completely understand and I support them," she said. "I'm not going to get some good food today! So yes, they did send a very loud message."

Below is a list of businesses closed Thursday:

  • Blue Plate Restaurant Company (includes The Lowry, Mercury Dining Room, Freehouse, Longfellow Grill, Highland Grill, Edina Grill, Groveland Tap, 3 Squares) -- "Since we are a family of community restaurants, we listened to our community and believe we are strongest when we are united. Because of that, we've chosen not to be open tomorrow."
  • El Burrito Mercado -- "In support of our immigrant customers, community, employees, and in honor of our immigrant parents Tomas & Maria Silva whom built El Burrito Mercado."
  • World Street Kitchen& Milkjam Creamery -- "We are immigrants and our business relies on immigrants. We wouldn't be here without them and you. We wholeheartedly appreciate and want to show our solidarity to everyone in this nation."
  • Al Vento
  • Tinto Cocina + Cantina
  • Café Ena, Rincon 38
  • Costa Blanca Bistro
  • La Fresca
  • Hola Arepa -- "Latinos & immigrants are our friends, family, brothers, sisters, coworkers and fellow Americans. If we don't stand up for their rights during this important time when their security is being threatened, our nation will be at a huge loss without them."
  • Victors 1959 Cafe
  • Hard Times Cafe
  • Mesa Pizza
  • Sonora Grill
  • Boca Chica Restaurant & Taco House, St. Paul
  • Supermercado la Mexicana on Eat Street
  • Las Mojarras
  • Panadería San Miguel
  • La Alborada
  • Avandaros
  • Mi Boleto
  • La Poblanita
  • Intermaco
  • Taqueria La Hacienda
  • La Mexicana
  • Los Ocampo
  • Gorditas el Gordo
  • Merlin's Rest will not have kitchen open.
  • El Chinelo Market
  • Los Hornos Del Re
  • Taco Taxi
  • Los Gallos (all 15 locations)
  • La Loma Tamales (Minneapolis and St. Paul locations)
  • Salsa a la Salsa
  • Zen Box Izakaya
  • Pimento Jamaican Kitchen
  • El Taco Riendo
  • India Palace
  • Rainbow Chinese
  • El Norteno (East Lake Street)
  • Smack Shack
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