Restaurant reopens after vandals strike

POSTED: 5:53 PM Mar 19 2013   UPDATED: 12:00 AM Mar 20 2013
CHEROKEE WEB
HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. -

The search continues in Hawkins County, Tennessee for the person who vandalized the Cherokee Restaurant.

Money from the cash register was removed but placed in a trash can inside the restaurant. Even though nothing else was taken, the vandals did a lot of damage.

The restaurant’s cook Rocky Walker said, “It was like a tornado came through. My main goal was to get the kitchen put back in order."

Sometime after the doors closed Saturday night and when they opened Sunday morning, vandals broke in through a window and trashed what employees say is more than a restaurant, but a home away from home. "To me it seemed personal and Sunday is our busiest day. We lost $1,200 to $1,300 in business that day,” said co-owner Larry Poindexter.

The room was covered with food and freezer doors were left open, ruining the food inside. Water pipes were ripped loose, pies and jelly were smeared all over the floor, and vending machines turned over.

The vandalism didn't stop business for long, however. Co-owner Rebecca Poindexter said, “Customers offered to come in and help; my employees jumped right in to clean up. Everybody was just heartbroken."

Rebecca Poindexter says she had to tell her employees she couldn't pay them Sunday, and that she would understand if they left. Every employee stayed put to help get Cherokee Restaurant back up and running.

The restaurant is open for business as usual and they are trying to restock their shelves as the investigation continues.