CHICAGO (CBS) — Burglars broke into a Humboldt Park restaurant this weekend, just weeks after a nasty message was spray painted on a sign.
Now folks are wondering if the two are connected, reports CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker.
“I came over here about 6:50 and the window was completely shattered,” said Aaron Green, a cook at Grandma J’s restaurant.
$200 was missing from the pried opened cash register. The restaurant was open today, but the weekend’s burglary was top of mind for owner Layla Malia K because this is the second time in recent weeks the popular Humboldt Park restaurant has been hit.
“The beginning of June someone tagged my window they weren’t going to be gentrified, they don’t want this to be Wicker Park,” Malia K said.
Gentrification is a real concern in this traditionally Puerto Rican neighborhood. Between 2000 and 2010 the Hispanic population decreased by four percent and the Black population dropped 23 percent while the white population increased 30 percent.
There have been protests against gentrification in the past and customers wonder if this is another form of protests.
“It’s their neighborhood,” said Keli Pateck.”They’ve lived here, and their families have lived her but there’s other families here too now. I think there is a better way to go about it, not just throwing bricks through windows and tagging businesses.”
Malia K is convinced the majority of Humboldt Park residents support her. In fact, after the first incident, business boomed. This time she’s seen similar outpouring of support, encouraging her to stay put.
“All of my employees, they were born in Humboldt Park,” she said. “I’m not going anywhere.”
The owner plans to replace the windows with shatterproof glass and get surveillance cameras, hoping to discourage criminals.