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Posted at 3:06 PM ET, 10/ 1/2009

Vandalism & Break-Ins at Cleveland Park Restaurants & Bars

By Julia Beizer

Multiple bars and restaurants in the Cleveland Park neighborhood suffered acts of vandalism and break-ins early Thursday morning. The glass window in the front door at Palena was broken, but according to chef/owner Frank Ruta, no valuables were taken and nothing was out of place. He speculated that perhaps the thieves vandals were scared away by a Palena employee who arrived early in the morning. Ruta anticipates Palena will be open tonight; a glass vendor has been called in to fix the door. This is the first incident of vandalism he's experienced in 10 nearly nine years at this location.

"We were one of the lucky ones," Ruta says. Investigators told him that there were break-ins at three other nearby restaurants along Connecticut Avenue. Zoo Bar's day manager Diane Danielek reports that the Woodley Park pub was burglarized had a break-in. She says video recordings show two men in their 20s -- with nothing to disguise their faces -- breaking open the glass door around 3:15 this morning and headed straight for the cash register, which was empty. "I feel like we were somewhat fortunate," she says. Nothing was stolen and none of the liquor bottles were smashed.

A man who picked up the phone at Byblos Deli confirmed that there had been a break-in there this morning but didn't want to talk further. The person who answered the phone at Nam Viet also confirmed that there was a break-in but declined to comment on the damage.

-- Julia Beizer

By Julia Beizer  | October 1, 2009; 3:06 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs, Restaurants  
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