CHICAGO (WLS) -- New Look Restaurant opened for indoor dining Thursday in South Chicago, with help from a private grant.
While Nathaniel Pendleton put great care into creating the base of his gumbo, he admitted the preparations to reopen were much more extensive than preparation of his food. His restaurant was badly damaged in the civil unrest earlier this summer.
"They jumped over the bar," he said. "The sink pulled out, all the piping came out, water came out, flooded."
"I was very disappointed by all the damage in our neighborhoods," he added. "We destroyed our own common wealth."
Pendleton said with $60,000 in damage, a $5,000 grant came right on time.
"It was a breath of fresh air. We were able to get some things vital to be able to open back up," he said.
Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives and the Small Business Repair Program got over $200,000 in private donations to help Black-owned businesses damaged after the protests. The New Look is among 40 businesses celebrating reopening with grants from the two organizations.
"These businesses were collateral damage," said Ja'mal Green, community organizer and creator of the Small Business Repair Program. "Even if they had Black-owned business signs up, folks were targeting their locations."
"We got to protect these businesses, we have to revitalize these communities. We need to bring opportunities to the community so we don't see a situation like this happen again," Green added.
As operations resume, Pendleton hopes patrons will be back and new patrons will consider supporting their businesses.