Employees of Don Juan’s Mexican Kitchen are working to get the west Olympia restaurant up and running for the weekend crowds after an early Friday burglary.
Manager Connor Stakelin said employees came into the restaurant at 4419 Harrison Ave. NW Friday morning to find the front door broken and the cash drawers from two front registers gone. The burglary happened sometime between midnight and 5 a.m.
“It is bizarre,” Stakelin said. “It looks like they came in swiftly and left.”
The tills contained cash, checks and bank account information for the restaurant, Stakelin said. As a result, the restaurant’s accounts have been frozen, and employees won’t be paid on time.
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The thieves also caused computer damage, ripping out wires. The front door of the restaurant was bent out of shape, but repairs already were underway at 11 a.m. Friday.
Stakelin said Olympia Police officers told him that someone found one of the drawers that morning at Madrona Beach, off of Highway 101.
“There was no cash in it, of course,” Stakelin said.
The restaurant will be open during normal hours for the weekend, but customers must pay with credit or debit cards for now.
“Well, it’s definitely going to put a damper on business,” Stakelin said.
However, he said Don Juan’s customers are loyal, and he expects people to keep coming back.
The west Olympia restaurant opened Nov. 11, and Stakelin said there has been a wait for dinner tables every night since. The franchise was a Thurston County staple long before then, with a restaurant in Tenino. Juan Martinez Sr. owns both locations.