Downtown Seattle gyroscope store owner says city officials ‘have to do their job’

ByShannon J. Cortes

Mar 3, 2022

Escalating crime and recent shootings in downtown Seattle along Third Avenue prompted the owner of a local bakery to close the location on that street because she feared her employees might be safe.

Loyal listener and owner of a gyro shop near downtown Seattle, Layla Farange, told KIRO 7 TV this week that she felt like she had to worry about being shot when she was driving to work, and called Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell to come see what’s going on.

On Wednesday, Farange told KIRO Newsradio’s Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin that this was nothing new.

“This problem has been going on for a long time,” she said. “But last week they cleaned up Jackson and 12th, Little Saigon, and it seems everyone has moved here.”

She says most refer to residents of downtown Fourth Avenue and Pine Street as “homeless.”

“They’re gang members, they’re drug dealers, and they’re the ones who use drugs, go to Target, Ross, Walgreens, rob these people and other small businesses and feed their addiction,” a- she declared.

Farange says there have been improvements under Mayor Harrell, up until last week.

“It’s a state of emergency,” she said. “I think Governor Jay Inslee and the mayor need to work together and fix this. It’s not correct. Public security at this time does not exist.

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Knowing the risks and losing money by staying open, some might ask: why not close or leave?

“I love my restaurant. I love coming to Seattle every day. I love my customers – they are the nicest people. I lose money staying open but I love coming to work every day” , she replied, “I will never give up hope. I will keep hope alive, everyone will come back, I’m sure. But the city officials have to do their job and clean up the street.”

Farange owns Gyros Place in downtown Seattle. She says there is a door on Third Avenue but she asks all visiting customers to use the door on Fourth Avenue.

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.