Uptown Oakland restaurateurs can't catch a break these days: after a week in which the protests of the Trayvon Martin verdict got windows smashed and waiters hospitalized at Flora and Bar Dogwood, Hawker Fare has now become the third restaurant targeted for vandalism, and sustained the worst damage yet. According to Inside Scoop, a trash-can fire set by vandals has nearly melted the restaurant's electrical meters, putting Hawker Fare and its 25 employees through what will likely be a long closure. (Here's a photo of the damage.)
Security footage captured three masked people setting the trash-can fire and then running away. Owner James Syhabout says he "doesn't have any beef with anyone," and it's unclear whether the action was motivated by the protests or by something else. It's especially a shame considering that Syhabout is an Oakland native whose Commis is widely regarded as having brought the city's dining scene to the national stage; he's also scheduled to open a third restaurant, Box & Bells, later this year in Rockridge. Due to the electrical issues, the restaurant is dependent on the City of Oakland and PG&E to get back to business, and it could take several weeks.
Update, 11:50 a.m.: Looks like the city's expediting Syhabout's case: he just sent out an Instagram of his shiny new electrical meters, and dubs it a "speedy recovery."
· Oakland's Hawker Fare closed indefinitely following fire [Inside Scoop]
· Flora Waiter Hit in Face with Hammer by Protester [~ ESF ~]
· Weekend Protesters Vandalize Oakland Restaurants [~ ESF ~]