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'This building matters to us, but Black lives matter much, much more.': Mayan Café owner

"The building may be damaged, it can be fixed. It may be burned, but it can be rebuilt. Black people who have been killed in this country cannot be brought back."

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Broken glass and graffiti on buildings have shaken several Louisville businesses over the last few weeks, but a Louisville staple that is set to reopen next week says it's not worried because properties are repairable. 

Mayan Café penned an emotional letter to the city and posted it on its website. When the owners reopen the doors Monday they want customers to know there restaurant is a safe space they can use to have conversations that can lead to change.  

"I've had so many people say oh gosh aren't you scared? Isn't it stressful after COVID and now this?' And it's like so be it," one of the owners, Anne Shadle said. 

While the team is implementing safety and health measures in wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the café said today's realities have always been affecting their Black staff members, customers and neighbors. 

In the letter, Bruce who is a Native American, writes about the exhilarating feeling the moment he rented the building 13 years ago. The letter said: "I believe firmly that though the building may be damaged, it can be fixed. It may be burned, but it can be rebuilt. Black people who have been killed in this country cannot be brought back. So, yes, this building matters to us. But, Black lives matter much, much more."

"If this is outside their comfort zone I want them to come out of their comfort zone, I want them to come down here, I want the protests to continue to walk down Market Street, and I want people to feel those things because you aren't moved to change until you feel something in yourself and until it affects you personally," Shadle said. "That's what makes a person change – not reading something or thinking of it objectively – you have to feel it and live it."

To learn more about Mayan Café's reservations and reopening times, click here.  

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