Local News

Subway restaurant reopens after looting, riots in downtown Raleigh

Posted July 8, 2020 5:40 a.m. EDT
Updated July 8, 2020 3:13 p.m. EDT

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story inaccurately reported that Subway was going to ban open carry firearms inside their stores. The Raleigh-Apex NAACP early on Wednesday invited reporters to a press conference in which they said local activists would join Subway in announcing that restaurants would ban open carry inside their stores, even in states where open carry is permitted. WRAL reported that plan and livestreamed the press conference. Subway corrected the notice from the NAACP, noting that it was a request that customers refrain from open carry, not a ban. The story below reflects that clarification.

Subway restaurants will ask customers to refrain from open carry of weapons at all restaurants, even in states where open carry is allowed.

The announcement came the same day a Subway store on Fayetteville Street celebrated its grand reopening. The store was destroyed in late May when George Floyd protests in downtown Raleigh turned into riots and looting.

Store owner Rashid Salahat and Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown were in attendance along with the NAACP and the Islamic Association.

The groups talked about how the community came together to clean up Salahat's restaurant and the more than 175 other businesses that were vandalized in Raleigh.

Salahat thanked the volunteers that cleaned up his store and offered to feed everyone who attended the event for free.

"We can make the money later," he said. "I am just overwhelmed with the support I get from our community."

Salahat said his store sustained about $80,000 worth of damages in May when rioters broke windows, stole his TV and vandalized the restaurant.

The community sprung into action to help, and a local construction company even completed repair work at a discount for businesses affected by the riots.

On Wednesday, Deck-Brown said "many hearts were broken" when already-struggling businesses were harmed during the May riots.

"Friendships and relationships surpass what happened, and they are what brought people together to restore the city," she said.

Salahat's store, which was closed for exactly 36 days, is one of the first affected Fayetteville Street businesses to reopen.

So much money was donated to repair his store that he is using the remainder to help downtown Raleigh's homeless community.

While downtown Raleigh experienced the most vandalism, stores at North Hills and Triangle Town Center were also targeted.

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