Emeryville Businesses Bracing for Post-Election Unrest

Published On November 4, 2020 | By Rob Arias | Local Business, News & Commentary

The windows of Emeryville businesses are once again adorned with particle board and plywood coverings. Businesses are anticipating the possibility of social unrest in the wake of last night’s presidential election. A winner has yet to be declared and some are anticipating the process to drag on through at least the remainder of the week.

Businesses along San Pablo Avenue, The East Bay Bridge Shopping Center, Bay Street and Powell Street Plaza could all be seen with varying degrees of coverings. Some businesses already had plywood coverings installed from previous incidents and have apparently opted to leave them in place.

There apparently weren’t any specific threats to businesses and this appears to be preemptive. Emeryville isn’t the only city taking caution with this possibility and businesses across the Bay Area are reportedly taking similar action.

Emeryville has been a frequent target of unrest including widespread looting of our shopping centers in the wake of police brutality protests in May as well as large groups of brawling teens in September. In 2014, protest activity descended into looting along San Pablo Ave.


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One of the businesses that opted to take this precaution was Emeryville favorite Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe. “It’s depressing to see the restaurant like this but we’re protecting the business and the jobs of our employees,” noted manager Doug Smith. “If we had damage or loss of crucial equipment this would really set us back during an already difficult time.”

While the county is finally allowing limited capacity indoor dining, businesses like Rudy’s have to deal with yet another challenge. “We truly appreciate our customers for sticking with us and adapting during this time,” Smith added. “It’s day by day for us.”

Emeryville’s “war zone” appearance has been a familiar sight to residents throughout the pandemic and some are starting to grow wary of it. “I want to see them take all the damn plywood off the windows,” noted Emeryville resident Alan Chelnick in this NBC Bay Area article reflecting the sentiment of many others.

About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

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