Lancaster celebrates restaurant’s comeback after vandalism


LANCASTER, SC (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Marcelo’s Restaurant has never had more people at one time than it did tonight.

Literally a month ago, vandals broke the front door and destroyed everything inside. But tonight, the Lancaster community came out to support this small business with food and music at a Friday benefit concert.

Marcelo Castillo’s Dominican-style restaurant at 2151 W. Meeting St. has grown through word of mouth and is now a big name in the Lancaster community.

“Our neighbors, Matt and Leslie Connery, they told us the food was phenomenal,” one customer said Friday.

Neighbors have come out in support of the two-year-old restaurant after a break-in left the business with more than $11,000 in damage. The suspects tore TVs from the wall and ransacked the kitchen.

But a month later it is open for business again.

“We were heartbroken, I mean, we really were, and we don’t live here; we came all the way from Goldsboro, North Carolina, said husband and wife Gwynn and Mark Lafau. “So when we came back this weekend we wanted to come and support him. We didn’t know it was happening. It was a happy coincidence and it worked out really well and we’re delighted to see so many people from the community supporting it.”

The community came together to hold this fundraiser in honor of the man who keeps their bellies full and their faces smiling. They enjoyed a special menu that ranged from barbecue ribs to fried tempura shrimp and beef oxtails after donating money to help the restaurant get back on its feet.

“It doesn’t make sense what they did, but you know Marcelo is bigger than that,” neighbor Rod Redman said. “We’re moving on, we’re rebuilding, the community is getting bigger, more people are coming, so we’re showing them we’re stronger.”

No arrests have been made in this case. Castillo says he’s patiently waiting, but regardless, he’ll stay open and sell food.

The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information to call Deputy Simmons at 803-283-3388.

Lancaster celebrates restaurant’s comeback after vandalism

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