NILES, Ill. (CBS) — A pizzeria in Niles is being criticized for its alleged treatment of two women and the five children they had with them at the height of Tuesday night’s storm.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports, Cheryl Syed and Aries Mushtaq had picked up their five children from swimming Tuesday night to take them to Cici’s Pizza, at 8525 W. Golf Rd. in Niles. By the time they arrived, there was lightning, 50 mph winds and rain.

Syed says the children, especially, were scared. When they ran to the Cici’s, the door was locked even though the place was open and there were customers inside.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports

Syed says she had a couple of coupons for Cici’s in her hand and that an employee refused to let the group inside, apparently thinking they just wanted to get in out of the storm.

The manager of a nearby Jo-Ann Fabrics saw what was happening and waved the group inside his store for safety.

Aries Mushtaq admits it might have seemed as if they were just looking for shelter, but, with the “natural disaster going on,” the people at Cici’s should have let them in anyway, whether “we were coming to eat there or not”.

Syed says she’s appalled at her treatment by a now-formerly family favorite of hers.

A Cici’s manager denies the less-than-neighborly treatment, saying, “We don’t do that here.”