'Miserable:' Downtown Raleigh businesses reeling from pandemic, vandalism

Elaina Athans Image
Thursday, June 4, 2020
Raleigh buisinesses struggle after double whammy
Raleigh buisinesses struggle after double whammy of pandemic, vandalism and looting.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Capital Smoke Shop is one of the few places that has reopened in downtown Raleigh. A broken window has been removed from the store and some of the display cases are exposed, but at least customers are able to again come inside.

The owner told ABC11 that he was hoping insurance would cover him for the damage and items stolen. He learned the policy is covering some of his losses, but not everything.

It's a 1-2 punch. First small business owners had to deal with the pandemic and now the protests.

Mostly every store on or near Fayetteville Street remains shuttered. Some business owners are taking a breather after tensions ignited, leading to vandalism, looting and fires during the weekend.

RELATED: Manager of Raleigh black-owned store says there are 'better ways' to protest after store was looted

The Vault, which is a sport-apparel store, is one of the few spots reopening on Fayetteville.

The owner was sitting outside on a stool letting folks know he's open.

"Hemorrhaging cash, bleeding out," said the owner Josh, who only wanted to give his first name.

He supports a peaceful protest, but he said the protests and the ensuing violence couldn't have come at a worse time.

"I've probably lost three months' rent that I owe, that's $9,000. I'm probably negative around $19,000, so it's been miserable as a business owner," he said.

A few places have been able to pick up the pieces and welcome back customers.

RELATED: North Hills businesses clean up, some remain closed after weekend looting and vandalism

Carroll's Kitchen, Jimmy V's restaurant, El Rodeo and Reuben's Deli are a few spots that have reopened.

"I think people will come back. I think we'll have to figure it out. We'll just have to keep moving forward," Reuben's Deli owner Glen Jones said.

Another small-business owner is offering some help during this dark time.

NC Decal Pros is willing to put up new lettering on windows for free.

The owner said he has enough decals for 25 to 30 businesses. A handful of places have already taken him up on the offer.

He is asking interested parties to call (919) 696-8025.