Customers out at Columbus businesses despite protest warnings

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Despite Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan’s plea to people to stay home this weekend, Short North businesses saw a steady flow of customers Saturday, even with potential armed protests rumored nationwide, including state capitals like Columbus.

On Friday, Ginther, Quinlan, and several other community leaders urged the public to remain peaceful for the upcoming inauguration of Joe Biden. Several rumors are circulating on social media of potential armed protests in Washington D.C. and each state capital on Sunday.

While some restaurants declined to answer why they decided to remain open, one restaurant owner said he doesn’t believe the Short North will be part of the protests. He’s hoping everything will remain peaceful.

“I think it’ll be a little more towards the Statehouse, I think we should be relatively safe here,” said Max Wigler, general manager of The Pint House. “We want our staff to make as much money as possible, especially with the struggles they’ve been going through right now. We don’t really believe in caving into fear.”

Wigler added he is looking forward to keeping his doors open Sunday for the Browns playoff game.

State and city leaders have made efforts to prepare for any potential protests through Jan. 20, Inauguration Day. Gov. Mike DeWine has activated members of the Ohio National Guard to serve both in Washington D.C. as well as Columbus and other cities in Ohio. Ginther has ordered the downtown Columbus government campus closed through Wednesday.

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