PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Center City retailers that were closed for months due to COVID-19 and later looting are now back open. CBS3 was at Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony on Chestnut Street.
“On the night of May 30, I was home with my wife and daughter watching civil unrest erupt across the country and throughout Philadelphia,” Blue Sole Shoes owner Steve Jamison said.
May 30 is a night Jamison says he will never forget. His beloved Blue Sole Shoes was broken into and looted as he watched on security cameras.
“It taught me not to take anything for granted,” Jamison said. “I try to keep that in mind all the time anyway, but it just really reinforced the idea.”
The door is still boarded up, but the shoes and customers are back.
Numerous ribbon-cuttings were held on the 1800 block of Chestnut Street in Center City on Wednesday celebrating their reopenings, including at Boyds.
Boyds was shutdown back in March due to COVID-19 and then just before they were set to reopen in late May, they were hit during the unrest.
“Since my grandfather founded our business in 1938, I can say with great certainty that we have never faced a bigger challenge then these last six months have presented to us,” owner Kent Gushner said.
In store surveillance video released by Philadelphia police, people are seen breaking into the front door of the store, taking clothes off hangers and breaking into jewelry cases.
CBS3 reached out to Philly police to see if that surveillance video netted any arrests and all these weeks later, they say still no one has been arrested.
The looting stretched throughout Center City. Philadelphia Runner is still closed after having every window busted out and merchandise was stolen. Its owner said Wednesday they have every intention of reopening.
The Marathon restaurant on 16th and Sansom Streets is also closed. It’s set to reopen in a few weeks.
Back at Blue Sole Shoes, a famous quote from Nelson Mandela is now stenciled on the window.
“Children come into the world just pure. Pure and innocent and it’s what we do to them that just causes the kind of unrest we experienced,” Jamison said.