Usually conferences and meetings at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund mean more business for stores and restaurants around GW. But this weekend the meetings drove away customers, said local business managers.
Restaurants and stores around the area had a slow day Saturday, and many closed on Sunday as the intensity of the demonstrations in the area escalated.
Tower (Records) would stay open if an earthquake happened, Amina Grier, a clerk at Tower Records, said Saturday.
The store, which is located on 21st Street, planned to go on with business as usual, Mark McCray, a supervisor, said Saturday.
We will play it by ear, he said.
But while no earthquakes shook the ground Sunday, the barricades and marching protesters surrounding the store forced Tower to close.
Kinkead’s restaurant, next to Tower, closed Sunday and will be closed Monday, said Mimi Schneider, general manager. On Saturday their business was significantly affected, she said.
We usually serve about 400 people on a normal Saturday night, and tonight we will have about 250 to 300 people eating at the restaurant, Schneider said.
The main problem for Kinkead’s this weekend was parking, she said. Their customers couldn’t drive up to the door as usual; instead they had to park several blocks away and walk through a police barricade to get to the restaurant.
It is the first time since we opened that someone can get a same day reservation, Schneider said.
Kinkead’s is typically open every day of the week, only closing three days a year: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, Schneider said.
If the protests weren’t happening we would have a full house tonight and tomorrow night because we get a lot of business from people at the World Bank and IMF, Schneider said.
T.G.I. Friday’s, on the corner of I and 21st streets, suffered from the same parking problem as Kinkead’s, said Miracle Gordon, a manager at the restaurant.
People were being forced to park 10 blocks away, he said.
But while other eateries in the area shut their doors Sunday, Friday’s remained open and stayed busy all day Sunday, Gordon said. He attributed the larger-than-normal business to the concentration of people in the area and the lack of open restaurants.
Everyone is welcome here. Business is about making money and keeping guests happy, he said.
This article appeared in the April 17, 2000 issue of the Hatchet.