Apple’s downtown Portland store reopened Monday for the first time since May, a signal of possible revival in the city’s core.
The store closed in March at the outset of the pandemic and then reopened briefly two months later. On May 31, though, Apple’s glass-fronted store was among several downtown looted amid raucous protests spurred by the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd.
Apple covered its broken windows with black plywood, which artists promptly repurposed as a canvas for a civil rights mural that featured Floyd and other victims of police violence. The mural became a national symbol amid last summer’s civil rights protests.
Confrontations between protesters and law enforcement kept Portland in the headlines for most of the summer. Protests waned late in the summer, though sporadic vandalism has continued downtown and in other parts of the city.
Many other downtown retailers have been open for months, but Apple’s flagship, glass-fronted store had remained closed and boarded up. Last month, though, the company donated the mural to Portland civil rights group Don’t Shoot PDX.
Apple didn’t respond Saturday to a message inquiring about its decision to reopen. The company’s website says the store will be open beginning at 11 a.m. Monday. 9to5Mac, a website for Apple aficionados, first reported the reopening.
COVID-19 infections are down dramatically in Oregon and across the country over the past month, and the state has relaxed business restrictions on restaurants, gyms and theaters. But downtown remains nearly deserted, with offices generally closed.
Apple is among the most prominent retailers in the city’s core and its reopening could suggest downtown’s fortunes are improving as the pandemic wanes. Gucci opened a luxury boutique at the Pioneer Place mall this month, and Findlay Hats opened a store in Old Town this weekend.