Tuesday, May 08, 2001

Closures keep Main St. quiet

By Amy Higgins
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Many bars and restaurants in the Main Street entertainment district closed Monday night, fearing violence and a lack of patrons after the misdemeanor indictment of Officer Stephen Roach in the death of Timothy Thomas.

        By 9 p.m., no violence was reported in Over-the-Rhine.

        Several of the clubs typically are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. But others — including Kaldi's Coffee House & Bookstore, Rhino's Bar, The Diner on Sycamore and Courtyard Cafe on Main — shut their doors after keeping boards and nails handy through the afternoon.

        Jay Kirkpatrick closed The Lab, a bar at the corner of 12th and Main streets. He said he did not want his bartender to be alone during the night. A patrol officer usually stationed on the corner was reassigned for the evening.

        But Scott Carter, Neon's Cigar Bar & Tavern co-owner with brother Terry, said he was operating the business Monday night.

        “My brother and I aren't the kind of people to run scared,” Mr. Carter said.

        Louis Gerrein also kept Westminster's open, despite being threatened as he opened the Main Street pool hall at 4:15 p.m. He said some passersby told him “boarding up windows will not be good enough. You better watch out. They ... have guns.”

        But around 8:30 p.m. he said the bar was full.

        “We're open for the duration,” Mr. Gerrein said. “We just want to make a statement that we're here.”

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