Around New England

North End Restaurant Owners Were Ready To Defend Their Restaurants From Rioters, Business Owner Said

June 1, 2020

The owner of a well-known restaurant in the North End of Boston said she and other restaurant owners were ready to defend their businesses if the rioters on Sunday night had made their way from Downtown Crossing to their neighborhood.

Rioters smashed and looted stores and restaurants near Downtown Crossing and the Back Bay on Sunday night at the conclusion of several daytime protests over the death of a black man in Minneapolis, Minnesota last week at the hands of a white police officer. Boston police made 53 arrests.

Carla Agrippino-Gomes, the owner of Antico Forno on Salem Street in the North End, said that although restaurants in the North End are closed by governor’s order because of the coronavirus emergency, she was at hers, ready to try to stave off rioters if they came.

“After seeing what happened last night in our city – I mean, I was in the North End. I was in my business. And I was there, ready to defend my business. May sound crazy, but I’m from the North End, that’s how I think,” Agrippino-Gomes said during a Zoom press conference Monday morning to discuss a lawsuit she and other business owners have filed in state superior court asking a judge to find Governor Charlie Baker’s coronavirus executive orders in violation of the Massachusetts Constitution and state statutes.

“And many other restaurant people were there, as well, in front of their businesses, waiting to defend their businesses,” Agrippino-Gomes added. “Luckily, nothing — they didn’t come down, you know, the rioters didn’t come down to our area.”

The riot took place late Sunday, May 31. The Zoom conference occurred late morning Monday, June 1.