Businesses try to rebound after BART riots

January 17, 2009 6:10:59 PM PST
In downtown Oakland a popular shopping district hit by rioting is trying to lure customers back.

Those in the South of Broadway District held a sort of open house Saturday. They closed down 17th Street to bring in more foot-traffic and give the area a more easy-going feel.

Many of the businesses were vandalized during rioting that followed the New Year's shooting death of Oscar Grant, at the hands of a BART police officer.

"Some of us are feeling pretty down and out, especially after the second series of attacks," said Ellen Taylor with the Oakland Merchant Leadership Forum.

The city teamed up with merchants and volunteers to make repairs for Saturday's event.

At least 50 businesses were damaged during the two days of rioting.