Local News

Beloved Durham restaurant targeted by vandalism, burglary

Posted October 12, 2020 7:06 p.m. EDT

— The Palace International is known as a neighborhood restaurant that celebrates the love for diverse cultures and people.

When the owner arrived for work Saturday morning, she couldn’t believe someone would do this to their business.

“First thing that came to mind was, my goodness, my customers, how am I going to serve them tonight, said Caren Ochola.

Caren Ochola is the main cook and head of the family owned- African cuisine business. She felt discouraged when she saw the damage.

“I felt very sad. We don’t deserve this. We apart of the community, the community has supported us, we’ve been here for years,” Ochoa added.

The business of 15 years takes pride in serving the community. “If it’s as much as needing food for the day just come to the door and ask for it," she said.

The family said it was disheartening to see the bashed door and windows. A cash register, a safe, cameras, drinks and alcohol were also stolen.

“Why, as a business on Broad Street have we been singled out? This is a continued thing,” said Moses Ochala, her son.

He also happens to run the Black Farmer’s Market and said his family has experienced this three times.

“As entrepreneurs, that’s kind of what we do. We face obstacles everyday. We just have to find the time to re-assess and find that motivation to stick to it,” he said.

That’s what they plan to do as they work to rebuild and return to work as normal this week.

“I want the palace to feel like home to everyone. We are still here for the community. We are not going anywhere,” Ochola added.

The Palace International is receiving an overwhelming amount of  support from the community. Anyone who would like to support this business is asked to do so by simply making an order online or contributing to their rebuild fund.

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