Will Rapid City businesses close again if there is another protest?

Published: Jun. 2, 2020 at 7:58 PM CDT
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Rioting rumors made Rapid City residents feel uneasy Monday, especially business owners.

But many business owners said they were happy the protest turned out to be peaceful, especially for one Rapid City owner who had reason to take even more precaution.

Every time you turned on your phone or went on your computer, posts about businesses closing were popping up everywhere on social media.

The general manager at Philly Ted's Cheesesteak in downtown Rapid City said around 10 a.m. he received a copy of a letter from police asking businesses to bring in outside furniture by noon.

But it was up to the businesses to decide if they will keep operations going.

"From seeing what's happened across the U.S. we decided we should probably close to be on the safe side," Josh Amundson, the general manger, said.

So he locked up doors, elevators and stairwells.

The level of concern was even higher for the owner of the Independent Ale House because he has a bar, called Monks House of Ale Repute in Sioux Falls.

Sunday night, a riot broke out in Sioux Falls and Governor Krisit Noem ended up sending the National Guard while Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHanken issued an emergency curfew.

Justin Henrichsen got a call from the landlord saying 'make sure your insurance is current and we are taking all the patio furniture and we are putting it inside the bar.'

"So yeah for me there was a little bit more of ... I thought that was just rumor in Sioux Falls and look what happened there," Henrichsen said.

Despite the riot, his bar did not get damaged.

Henrichsen kept the doors locked on Monday at Independent Ale House and brought nails and boards just in case for the windows out of caution.

But he never had to use them and doesn't think he will need to.

Both Henrichsen and Amundson said they trust the community and will open Tuesday and will just keep an eye out.

"We're a closer knit community, especially being a smaller town instead of like some of these bigger towns that are getting hit. I think communication is a lot easier," Amundson said.

Main Street Square's tables and chairs were removed Monday and remain tucked away.

As a group plans to gather again Tuesday to protest peacefully.