CHICAGO — Osvaldo Nunez has been serving up birria, or goat meat, for almost two years in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood without being a target of a break-in.
That streak came to an end Monday when Nunez’s wife received a concerning call from a relative about their restaurant.
“He was like your glass was shattered at the business,” said Alice Martinez, co-owner of Barca Birria Tatemada found on West Belmont Avenue. “I was like oh my god.”
According to Nunez, Surveillance cameras were unable to capture the people who broke in, but the incident happened sometime after they closed Sunday night, and before they opened up shop on Monday morning.
“I saw the window all crashed in and there’s two big boulders,” Nunez said. “And I’m like, ‘wow.'”
A boarded up window now fills the space where glass once stood before someone smashed into the restaurant. Despite the damages, Nunez said the thieves got away with very little—a phone charger and an almost empty cash register.
“I always take all the money with me,” Nunez said. “But I think there was like a quarter in there.”
Martinez and Nunez said the burglary led them to change the way they do business, and encourage other restaurants to do the same.
“People [need] to be really alert, especially right now during these times,” Nunez said. “Don’t be like me. Put up better cameras.”
Despite the stress the incident has caused them, Martinez said they are still moving forward with a smile on their faces.
“[We have to] get over it and keep going, as best we can” Martinez said. “This is our dream and we have to make it work as best as we can.”
Police have no one in custody, but owners said they have no plans of closing and will continue to run their restaurant safely as a family.