AVONDALE — At least three more small businesses in the Logan Square and Avondale area have been hit by burglars in a string of break-ins that has business owners on edge.
The Brewed at 2843 N. Milwaukee Ave. was burglarized just before 4:45 a.m. Tuesday, said police and co-owner Nick Mayor.
Someone smashed the glass door of the coffee shop and stole both cash registers, Mayor said. The burglar made off with about $900, he said.
Mayor said their doughnut delivery driver discovered the break-in. It took police about two and a half hours to show up, which Mayor found “very frustrating.” Police didn’t respond to a question about the slow response time.
Still, Mayor said the cafe was able to reopen a few hours later as crews repaired the glass door.
Mayor owns the coffee shop with his wife, Jen Lemasters, and a third partner, Jason Deuchler. Mayor and Lemasters also own the adjoining shop Bric-a-Brac Records & Collectibles.
“Nobody’s hurt, and we’re able to function, so that’s the big picture,” Mayor said.
Neighbors looking to help should “come get some coffee, buy an extra doughnut,” Mayor said.
Further south, Dante’s Pizzeria at 3028 W. Armitage Ave. was burglarized about 5:40 a.m. Friday, said police and a restaurant employee.
Daniel, a Dante’s worker who declined to provide his last name, said burglars forced their way in by throwing a cinder block through the window, then took the restaurant’s safe.
It’s unclear how much money was stolen. Daniel couldn’t provide a number, and police didn’t provide further information about the break-in.
Lula Cafe at 2537 N. Kedzie Blvd. was also broken into last weekend, said owner Jason Hammel. The popular restaurant opened late Saturday because of the break-in.
Hammel didn’t immediately answer further questions about the robbery, but he said he’s “very thankful that no one was in the building when it happened.”
“I don’t have a lot to say except that I would recommend to owners and managers in the neighborhood to discuss security and safety with staff, keep cash drawers empty and open, maintain as little cash as possible on hand, and to have a clear [standard operating procedure] for after-hours communication,” he said.
Lula Cafe, Dante’s and The Brewed are the latest small businesses in the Logan Square and Avondale area to get broken into.
El Habanero at 3300 W. Fullerton Ave. and Casa Yari at 3268 W. Fullerton Ave. were robbed May 24.
It was the second time El Habanero had been hit in less than two weeks, a huge blow to the family business, the owners said.
An online fundraiser launched by the owner’s daughter surpassed its $3,000 goal within days. As of Tuesday, donations totaled more $6,600.
“My mom has worked so hard to establish a sence [sic] of community on that little orange place in Logan Square. She has been in El Habanero day in and day out, working before and after business hours to make sure everything is up to her par,” Larissa Y. Ramirez wrote on the fundraiser page.
“Having experienced two break-in’s [sic] in such a short time has definetely [sic] made a dent on my family’s pocket.”
As word of the break-ins spread, neighboring small business owners are taking steps to protect their shops.
Bakery and cafe Loaf Lounge at 2934 N. Milwaukee Ave. isn’t accepting cash for the time being to keep restaurant employees and customers safe, the owners announced Tuesday on Instagram.
Detectives are investigating the incidents, and any connection between the burglaries was “unknown” as of Tuesday evening, police spokeswoman Michelle Tannehill said.
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