Unite the Right counter events, businesses closing/staying open

At least three Downtown Mall businesses say they're staying open during the Unite the Right rally to protest recent demonstrations of hate. Staff photo At least three Downtown Mall businesses say they’re staying open during the Unite the Right rally to protest recent demonstrations of hate. Staff photo

“If equality and diversity aren’t for you, then neither are we,” say signs popping up on the Downtown Mall ahead of Saturday’s Unite the Right rally, which several groups have predicted could be the largest gathering of white supremacists in recent history.

The rainbow-colored signs conclude with, “We are open in protest of the recent demonstrations of hate,” and have been spotted in the windows of The Whiskey Jar, Mudhouse Coffee Roasters and Commonwealth Restaurant & Skybar.

Cinema Taco, a Downtown Mall restaurant from which Unite the Right rally organizer Jason Kessler is banned, is sporting a homemade sign on its door that declares it a safe space, and says, “If you are victimized, please come inside! We will call the authorities for you!”

Most downtown businesses are open August 12, and the following have added notice about where they stand on the influx of the alt-white. Below is a list of places that have stated they will be closed, counter events and event date changes for Saturday, August 12.

Open with protest signage

Commonwealth Restaurant & Skybar


Whiskey Jar

Cinema Taco

Keevil & Keevil Grocery and Kitchen (and they’ve announced the launch of a new breakfast menu Saturday, called Two Fingers to Hate. Details here.)

The Ante Room

Bluegrass Grill & Bakery: (From Facebook: “We will be open at our regular times but we want to take a moment to remind people about a few things. The Bluegrass family is comprised of people of color, immigrants, women, queer folk, and individuals with disabilities. And that’s just our staff. Our extended family and patrons come from all sorts of experiences. We love each and every one of them very much. We will stand behind them when their safety is compromised and this weekend is no exception. The Bluegrass Grill is all about the brunch experience and that experience does not include hate. All are welcome to come and eat, but if you bring hateful language or bigoted paraphernalia into the restaurant, you will be asked to leave as is our right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. It is also your right to carry a firearm with proper permits. However, if you are armed this weekend, we will turn you away unless you are law enforcement personnel. We hope you all have a just and safe weekend. Stay tuned for Facebook updates in case of early closings.”)

Junction and The Local will be open and a portion of all checks will be donated to the Charlottesville NAACP.

Charlottesville City Market

Change in hours

ACAC Downtown is closing at noon on Saturday.

Paradox Pastry: Open 7am-1pm

Mas (a post on Facebook states: “Out of an abundance of caution, we have adjusted our schedule on Th-Fri-Sat to close earlier at midnight. We have also added security for staff and guests, to assure no shenanigans. May we endure these trials and come out stronger. Let the intemperate flames of hatred temper our souls and make us kinder.”)


Bodo’s: Their Preston Avenue location will be closed Saturday. A sign in the window reads: “We are concerned about the safety of our staff and our customers. We are very sorry that such a precaution has become necessary.”)

Live Arts

Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint

Brazos Tacos

Central Library

McGuffey Art Center

Market Street Market (closed after noon)

Hill and Wood

Court Square Tavern

Baggby’s Gourmet Sandwiches

Blue Ridge Country Store

Derriere de Soie

Grit Coffee Bar & Cafe


Marco & Luca

Miso Sweet

Petit Pois

Rock Paper Scissors

The Juice Place

The Nook

The Paramount

The Spot

Virginia National Bank

Yves Delorme


Discovery Museum

Orzo Kitchen & Wine Bar


The Salad Maker

South Street Brewery

Mono Loco

The Soap Box

Bend Yoga is moving its Friday kids’ class to the Northside Library at 3:30pm. The studio will be closed Saturday.


Date changes

Broadway at the Paramount, scheduled for Saturday, has moved to 8pm Friday

Unite the Pride Flashmob for Equality, scheduled for Saturday on the Downtown Mall, has moved to 6pm Sunday

Counter events: Thursday, August 10

Prayer service

  • 7pm
  • Westminster Presbyterian Church
  • 400 Rugby Rd.

History of Race and Ethnicity in Charlottesville

  • 7pm
  • Congregation Beth Israel
  • 301 E. Jefferson St.

Friday, August 11

Congregate C’ville mass prayer meeting

  • with Dr. Cornel West and the Reverend Traci Blackmon
  • 8pm
  • St. Paul’s Memorial Church
  • 1700 University Ave.

Saturday, August 12

Sunrise service with Dr. Cornel West

  • 6am
  • First Baptist Church
  • 632 W. Main St.

Peoples Action for Racial Justice (PARJ)

  • Hosted by Together Cville and Center for Peace and Justice
  • 9am-7pm
  • McGuffey Park and Justice Park
  • Teach-ins, and speakers, prayer and meditations, music and art, and an opportunity for respite from direct actions taking place around Emancipation Park

Advocacy training with the Albemarle-Charlottesville NAACP

  • 11am-2pm
  • Burley Middle School
  • 901 Rose Hill Dr.

Art In Action

  • 11am-7pm, Champion Brewery
  • Artists and musicians are encouraged to sing, dance, sculpt, rap, etc. Co-hosted by Black Lives Matter Charlottesville.

Safe space

  • 11am-6pm
  • First United Methodist Church at 101 E. Jefferson St.
  • Church will serve as a safe space for those who need it.

Festival of Idiots

  • Noon-3pm
  • Emancipation Park
  • Dress like a clown or bring a tuba

Sacred Songs and Rough Music: A Charivari Against Facism

  • Noon-6pm
  • Emancipation Park
  • A charivari is a noisy, discordance mock-serenade. People will bring pots and pans, kazoos, whistles, bells, drums, etc., and sing bawdy lyrics. They’ll be on the perimeter of the Unite the Right rally.

Amplify Unity

  • Noon-6pm
  • Jefferson School City Center
  • Various programming, co-sponsored by Charlottesville Clergy Collective includes:
  • Noon-1: meditation
  • 1-2: yoga
  • 2-3: envisioning peace
  • 3-4: peace dancing
  • 4-5: 5 Rhythms Dance

Day-long reflective conversation

  • University of Virginia
  • Faculty and staff will facilitate discussions on constitutional rights and citizenship; community dynamics and polarization; local history; and more, focused on the theme of peaceable democracy.

We will continue to update this story as we receive more information.

Clarification August 11 that most businesses are open in the downtown area.

Posted In:     News


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