Loyal customers look after beloved Greensboro pizzeria amid protests

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Plywood covers so many shattered storefront windows on South Elm Street. But a few Greensboro businesses remain untouched. One of those is Pizzeria L’Italiano. Alex Gibson is a regular customer. She has an idea why the restaurant has survived uneasy nights.

“It’s really the people. It doesn’t matter what time you come down here, they are so welcoming,” Gibson said. “They are a big part of the community.”

Aaron Schneider is the manager at Pizzeria L’Italiano. As the protesters walked and chanted down South Elm Street, Schneider joined them.

“The community is supporting us and we want to be here to support the community,” Schneider said.

Erica Ingram is another loyal Pizzeria L’Italiano customer. To show her appreciation for the restaurant, she bought nails and plywood and offered to board up the windows.

“I just felt like we needed to do it for a piece of mind. They do so much,” Ingram said.

Pizzeria L’Italiano turned down the offer. They felt the plywood barrier would divide them from the community that enjoys stopping and waving at them through the window.

“We show everyone that walks through that door kindness. We show them respect, whether they are homeless or down on their luck,” Schneider said.

Ingram still went by the restaurant to drop off the plywood and nails, hoping Pizzeria L’ Italiano will never have to use them.

“Whether it’s boarded up or not, as long as he has a peace of mind and we love them. That’s all that matters to us.”

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