Downtown restaurants weigh staying open on Inauguration Day, amid potential threats

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 10:26 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -Downtown restaurant owners are weighing the risk of staying open or closing their doors on Inauguration Day to avoid potential unrest.

The State Capitol was a different scene on Monday compared to Sunday. Armored vehicles no longer blocked the Capitol doors, cement barriers were pushed aside and drivers can park around the square.

Area restaurant owners say despite it being quiet on Sunday, they’re not letting their guard down.

Tami Lax, The Old Fashioned Owner, said she’s grateful everything remained peaceful, but she’s staying closed until Thursday to play it safe.

“I was relieved actually because those are really frightening words. Thank goodness that nothing did happen. We’re still facing Wednesday and our hope is that if we do have protesters showing up, it’s peaceful and productive,” Lax said.

NBC15 spoke to other restaurant owners in the area who say they’re making a final decision on Tuesday or they’re playing it by ear.

Law enforcement agencies said they will continue to monitor threats and they’ll be ready to respond, if needed.

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