Shortly after pro-Trump protesters toppled barricades, scaled walls, and overwhelmed security to break into the U.S. Capitol, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a curfew effective from 6 p.m. Wednesday, January 7, through 6 a.m. Thursday morning. Capitol Police locked down the building while protesters, mostly maskless and egged on by Trump’s suggestion at a rally, interrupted the proceedings. Police deployed tear gas inside, and a woman was reportedly shot.
Bowser’s order, which came a little more than three hours before it was supposed to take effect, bars people from occupying public spaces in the District, including streets, alleys, and parks, unless they are performing essential work or traveling to a job to do so. Media, medical workers, and anyone else designated by the mayor is excepted from the curfew.
A large number of D.C. restaurants had already decided to close Wednesday in anticipation of demonstrations by thousands of visitors who flocked to the city to support Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud on the day Congress was scheduled to certify Electoral College results, a formality that confirms Joe Biden’s win at the polls in November.
Food service and restaurant workers have previously been deemed essential in D.C., but at the very least, the mayor’s order means no customers would be permitted to eat outdoors or pick up carryout orders. When reached by phone, an employee at We the Pizza in Capitol Hill said the shop planned to stay open with regular hours (until 9:30 p.m.) unless calls completely stopped or some other “commotion” interrupted business. “We’re considered essential workers,” the employee said.
A manager at Duccini’s pizza in Adams Morgan, which previously made deliveries during confrontational protests fueled by the social justice movement, says the shop is pulling deliveries for the evening but will allow pickups until the curfew begins at 6 p.m. Mt. Vernon Triangle restaurants Busboys & Poets and Rasa confirmed they were closing Wednesday afternoon. Farther away from the chaos, on H Street NE, sushi bar Sticky Rice said it planned to continue deliveries until 10 p.m.
Grocery stores have also been recalibrating due to the curfew and developing situation. The United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400 union, which represents workers at Safeway, noted on Twitter that all stores in the city will close at 4 p.m. due to “Republican mob violence downtown,” and those scheduled would be paid, but not expected to work.
Tierney Plumb contributed to this report