Downtown Indianapolis businesses boarding up ahead of election

Uncertainty pushes preparedness
Posted at 11:33 PM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 23:33:57-05

INDIANAPOLIS — With just hours until polls close at 6pm on Tuesday night, businesses downtown spent Monday boarding up windows and preparing for the unexpected.

"The fear is that we don't know what's gonna happen tomorrow and we don't know who's going to be upset, and we don't know what they're gonna do, and I can't afford to replace another window," Danielle Cooney said.

Danielle Cooney is the owner and general manager of Soupremacy, the soup shop on Monument Circle. The restaurant was one of several that boarded up Monday afternoon. After seeing her store damaged this summer, Cooney says the cleanup process is not something she wants to go through again.

"We were more fortunate than some of our neighbors, but we did have to put a window back in," said Cooney.

On the other end of Market Street sits Jack's Donuts, the place that was ground zero when widows started to shatter as peaceful protests turned into violence and destruction. Despite being hard hit this summer, owner Chris Karnavas originally had no plans to board up, as recently as Monday morning.

"I feel that we shouldn't really have to board up if the city is going to protect us," said Karnavas.

The new glass filling the windows of the downtown donut shop cost Karnavas thousands of dollars. With that price tag in mind, while watching neighboring businesses board up, Karnavas changed his mind, and says not following suit is a risk he cannot take. His store will now get boarded up in the middle of election day.

"It's cheaper to board up than it is to remodel, again, and be closed for several days and who knows how much damage, if there will be any damage how much they will do next time around," said Karnavas.

The business owners say they have been in contact with IMPD and have not been made aware of any threats or planned protests. But as Karnavas put it, they'd prefer to be "safe than sorry."