Restaurant owner boards up ahead of rally
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PORTLAND, Oregon (KPTV) — A planned protest happening this weekend in Northwest Portland has some business owners on edge.
The Fields Bar and Grill was vandalized on Feb. 26, and now the owner is boarding up the windows and doors as a precaution. The protest is planned at a park that is just a couple of blocks away from his restaurant.
“We have removed everything that could possibly cause damage tonight,” Jim Rice, the owner, said. “When these people come through, and we’ve lost an entire day of business which means that’s impacting my team member’s wages.”
Portland Mayor Ted Wheelers and Commission Dan Ryan have filed an ordinance that would make it easier for businesses to install security lights and gates, which is set to be considered on March 3.
Rice said he doesn’t think that will help solve the problem of ongoing violence in the city.
“This has been going on for nine months. Where are our resources? When do we get enough resources to finally go after and fix this?” he said.
Like many other business owners in Portland, Rice said he’s reaching a breaking point.
“When does it end? When do we finally put enough resources and energy into it, and it’s important enough to address the actual problem so that we don’t have to board up,” he said.
Adding this on top of the struggles the pandemic has brought on the restaurant industry Rice says it’s getting to be too much.
“It’s not like we’re a bunch of rich business owners,” he said. “Our business has been shut down for six out of the last eleven months. We’re barely hanging on to keep our business open.”
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