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Lakeview, Wrigleyville, Northalsted

Trader Todd’s In Lakeview Vandalized, Defaced With Racist, Anti-Vax Comments: ‘We’re Completely Dumbfounded’

The damage to the building is costing "thousands of dollars" to repair, Trader Todd's general manager said.

Trader Todd's was vandalized early Thursday with multiple racist, politically charged and anti-vaccination comments.
Provided/Trader Todd's

LAKEVIEW — Trader Todd’s in Lakeview was badly vandalized last week when someone broke several windows, scrawled hateful messages on several others and destroyed security equipment and lights outside the bar.

The incident happened early Thursday, police said. The person who vandalized the bar at 3216 N. Sheffield Ave. busted at least six windows, took down the bar’s patio lights, ripped out all its plants, tore one security camera off the wall and destroyed another with a pole and broke the mechanism that’s used to keep the patio window open, said general manager Bill Gold.

The whole thing was captured on security footage, Gold said, and resulted in thousands of dollars worth of damage.

“Nothing like this has ever happened. We don’t get a lot of trouble,” Gold said. “We’re completely dumbfounded by the whole thing.”

Credit: Provided/Trader Todd's
Trader Todd’s windows were defaced with various politically charged and racist comments.
Credit: Provided/Trader Todd's
An anti-vax diatribe written on one of the bar’s vaccination and masking posters.
Credit: Provided/Trader Todd's
Security footage showed the man talking on the phone before vandalizing Trader Todd’s.

Security footage reviewed by Block Club shows the man sitting in front of the bar and talking on the phone for almost 30 minutes before he attacks the property. In the video, he can be seen climbing up to remove a pole from the building, which he uses to destroy one of the security cameras.

The man proceeds to tag the windows that aren’t broken with politically charged, racist and anti-vaccination-related comments, including “F–k Biden,” “F–k illegals,” “Kill [n-word]” and a longer diatribe against the COVID-19 vaccine.

“How will you get staff if you require a libtard vax?” the man wrote on one of the bar’s posters, which states proof of vaccination and face masks are required for entry.

Gold said he finds the incident “bizarre” and nobody from the restaurant could recognize the man as someone they might have angered by turning him away from the business.

“Everyone is just kind of bummed out by it,” Gold said. “This is an odd, random attack with political and racial inclinations. We don’t want anything to do with the national conversation other than that you should be safe and vaccinated.”

Anyone with information on the man’s identity should call detectives at 312-744-8263.

By Monday, much of the damage had been fixed, but the bar’s front window was still being repaired.

“It sucks because he did damage the front window that allows fresh air through the place, which is important in the time of COVID,” Gold said. “Those windows are very tedious to fix. They take a while.”

Credit: Jake Wittich/Block Club Chicago
Trader Todd’s employee Fred Johnson fixes the storefront’s window after the bar was vandalized.

Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.

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