Haddad Family Sweeps Up Fragments of Shattered Storefront

Apr 13, 2017

Loreece Haddad, 83, sweeps glass fragments Thurs., following an early morning vandalism. Her daughter, Marie Batrouni, came to help get the restaurant ready to open for business as usual.
Credit Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Haddad’s Restaurant on West Main Street in Peoria will be making and serving customers hummus and kibbeh as usual -- even though its front window is missing. 

When Loreece Haddad arrived to open at 8am Thurs., she was shocked to find the front window completely obliterated.

“I see the glass broken. I don’t have any idea [why this happened]. All the glass was on the floor,” Haddad said. 

Credit Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

A vandal apparently lobbed a brick at the storefront and shattered a window, leaving the cafe fully exposed. Hadded spent the morning sweeping, instead of assuming her usual kitchen duties, preparing for lunchtime patrons.

Her daughter, Marie Batrouni, sped over to help sweep the shattered glass strewn across the sidewalk and the floor of the small, four-table cafe.

“I got here and mom was crying, not knowing why someone would do that to her because she hasn’t harmed anybody,” Batrouni said. 

The vandalism comes on top of injury the family still feels from another incident two years ago. The restaurant’s namesake and Loreece’s late husband Tony Haddad was the victim of a beating that sent him to the hospital.

“It’s scary. You’re looking around you, and wondering, what’s next?,” Batrouni said. 

The Haddad family says insurance should cover the cost of the damage. Nothing was taken from the restaurant, and police are investigating.

Batrouni and her sister-in-law Nidal Haddad say they haven't experienced any recent threats or suspected anything suspicious.  

“This is a surprise. We haven’t had trouble from anyone,” Nidal Haddad said.  

Loreece and Tony Haddad, started the business as a food cart nearly four decades ago. They immigrated to Peoria from Lebanon in 1977.

Just two blocks away, another immigrant-owned business Las Delicias, a Mexican ice cream shope, was burglarized on two occasions in March. A suspect was identified and arrested in that incident, a Peoria Police spokesperson said. It's unclear whether the burglaries at Las Delicias are linked to the vandalism at Haddad's. 

Regardless of the damage, the Haddads say they're keeping the grill fired up until 8pm. Marie Batrouni says the inside dining room "will feel like a picnic."