Local restaurant owner cleaning up riot mess instead of inviting customers in

Protests

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Sunday night’s riot in downtown Albuquerque inflicted a massive amount of damage to businesses in the area. A local manager says he’s worried the costly damage could put him and others out of business. Im Benvie is the general manager of a local eatery Filling Philly’s, a cheesesteak restaurant that has been in business off Central and Third for a year and a half. Monday, instead of inviting people in to eat, they’re boarding them out.

“We apparently had another group that infiltrated the protest that came up here and committed acts of terrorism,” said Benvie. Around midnight Sunday, following a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest, a group of people started rioting in downtown shortly after Filling Philly’s was one of the targets.  

“They knocked out the windows obviously, they took out all the beer inventory and the wine inventory, they fire extinguished the floor, a lot of cleaning here,” Benvie said. He found out his stores were being looted when people were posting videos of it on social media but that’s not all that happened. People were caught spray-painting buildings, smashing windows and even starting a fire just outside Filling Philly’s.

They hit local shops and even the historic Kimo Theater. By the time Albuquerque Police stepped in the damage was done.  Monday, businesses are picking up the pieces from Sunday night.

“Today it’s the windows, tomorrow it’s burning the building down hopefully we can reopen at some point. Hopefully, we can put this to an end, everybody can get back to work and see Albuquerque as the great city it can be,” Benvie said. The Filling Philly’s manager says the damage and plotting will cost him about $30,000.

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