There’s not going to be a whole lot of window shopping this week. Stores across the Bay Area are boarding up ahead of any post-election unrest.
Neiman Marcus, Pottery Barn, Williams and Sonoma are some of the businesses preparing for possible vandalism or looting in Walnut Creek. And it’s not just big box retailers taking the preventative measures, small business owners are doing it too.
“We’re going to paint this wall with a ‘we are open’ sign,” said Keven Wilson of Daughter’s Diner.
Last month, Wilson and his wife opened up Daughter’s Diner, dedicated to their daughter Mila who will turn 4 years old next week.
We’ll hopefully know the results of the presidential election by the time Mila blows out her birthday candles. But in the meantime, there’s a lot of uncertainty over what will happen after Election Day.
“It just takes one bad apple that’s really what it is,” Wilson said. Adding he’d rather fork over a thousand dollars to board up his windows than to replace shattered glass or fix the diner’s retro interior.
“Less pain to do it this way than to clean up a mess later,” he said.
Over in Emeryville’s Powell Street Plaza, big box retailers like Ross fortified their windows to discourage wannabe looters. Back in late May, a swarm of thieves targeted multiple Emeryville stores by breaking windows and crashing into storefronts. Alan Chelnick says he’s tired of seeing his neighborhood look like a war zone.
“I want to see them take all the damn plywood off the windows,” he said.
Oakland’s city administrator sent this message out to the city’s business community, “we have mobilized an experienced team to provide a safe venue for those exercising their First Amendment rights, while ensuring that we keep the demonstrations, our community and our businesses safe.”
“The faster we go back to some sort of stability the better it is for me,” Wilson said.
There’s no word of any planned demonstrations happening in Walnut Creek this week.
According to the local business association, it’s up to individual businesses to decide if they board up their windows or close early.