Over the past several months, restaurants have had a lot to deal with. First, the shutdown, then the county reopening, and now for one north county business - a brazen criminal act. The owner says she has no choice but to close her doors temporarily.
NBC 7's cameras rolled as Homestead Solana Beach restaurant owner Marie Brawn turned away customer after customer.
“A moment just washed over me of just disappointment,” Brawn said. “Like I couldn’t believe it. I really couldn’t. I couldn’t believe that that would happen.”
Brawn couldn’t believe that almost all of her outdoor dining furniture was swiped.
The San Diego Sheriff's Department confirmed to NBC 7 that a thief struck several shops along historic Cedros Avenue this week.
“It’s pretty devastating,” Brawn said. “We’re left with seven tables. We don’t know what we’re going to do because we can’t have live music with seven tables. We can’t feed our kids with seven tables. We can’t keep our staff on, and we can’t do that stuff with that little of tables.”
Emily Loyd is from South County and drove up to Solana Beach to meet up with a friend from Orange County for lunch, but was shocked when Brawn broke the news the restaurant was closed.
“It’s so sad,” says Loyd. “Like in the midst of everything that’s happening, businesses are trying to stay alive and this is the last thing they need!”
“I’m surprised,” said restaurant regular Katie Depoalo. “I wouldn’t think in this community that something like that would happen.”
Both Loyd and Depoalo were aghast someone would do something like this, at a time like this.
“Come on, dude!” Loyd said. “Seriously! We are all hurting in this. I honestly don’t really have words.”
“That’s heartbreaking,” Depoalo said. “Honestly. Especially in a time like this when we should be supporting each other. It’s really unfortunate.”
Brawn said they, like most small, local restaurants, were already struggling just to stay open.
“Our entire family’s income stopped when COVID hit,” Brawn said. “We’re all out here working twice as hard for a quarter or half of the money.”
Brawn says they couldn’t afford to buy outdoor seating when the county first ordered all restaurants to operate outdoors, so most of the stolen furniture was borrowed from the farmer’s market. She says she doesn’t know how they’re going to pay it back.
A detective with the San Diego County Sheriff North Coastal station told NBC 7 deputies have made an arrest. There's still no word on recovering any of the stolen items.
In the meantime, a GoFundMe page in support of the restaurant and its charity work already surpassed $1,000 within its first several hours.