Water St. standoff impacts surrounding businesses in Eau Claire - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Water St. standoff impacts surrounding businesses in Eau Claire


Eau Claire (WQOW) - A standoff on Tuesday at the BMO Harris Bank building on Water Street in Eau Claire went on for about 15 hours.

Related Story: Police ID man in standoff

Those 15 hours cut off access to some businesses there. Police closed off Water St. between 2nd and 5th Ave. People couldn't access shops like Bike & Sport and The Goat Coffee House, which closed five hours early on Tuesday.

"As soon as I was empty, I approached one of the officers that was in the street and I asked him if it's going to be going on much longer," said Ryan Bembnister, owner of The Goat Coffee House. "I already had sent all of my crew home, and I canceled all of the people who were going to be working that night. I was just going to stay. Ended up being told that it was going to last a little bit longer, so I just made the decision to close."

Bembnister estimated he may have lost out on $400 to $600 worth of sales. Bike & Sport estimated a $5,000 loss.

"It's peak bike season now," said Terry Hintz, owner of Bike & Sport. "Now's when people are bringing their bikes in for repairs and when they try and get down here and they can't get across the bridge, can't continue, try going around and trying to come across on 4th, can't get across there, they kind of gave up."

Some foot traffic was possible, but police urged everyone in the area to stay inside.

Although business wasn't great for Bike & Sport and The Goat Coffee House, Bembnister and Hintz were understanding of law enforcement and what they were doing to keep the community safe.

Powered by Frankly