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City ties all-time homicide record; restaurant owners react to crime surge

City ties all-time homicide record; restaurant owners react to crime surge

Jack McLaughlin

Following the fatal shooting outside of an Easton-area Target earlier this week, 2021 has already tied the Columbus mark for the most homicides in a single year. 

And it isn’t just fatalities affecting the city, either. This year has seen a string of Short North shootings, and earlier this month a rash of robberies were recorded by multiple North Side businesses in less than a week’s time.

During a period when COVID is already creating significant hurdles for businesses and restaurants, the surge of crime adds another variable to the mix. 

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For co-owner of Clintonville’s The Keto Kave Brian Van Ness, the victim of an Oct. 31 break-in that saw the glass front door of his business shattered, the uptick in crime is just one more thing that keeps him up at night.

“It’s scary, to be honest,” he said. “We’re coming through COVID right now, and on top of that, it makes me worried. I’ve never been so nervous or scared that we could lose everything.”

Van Ness said that, while his insurance provider will eventually cover replacement glass for his door, he was tasked with fronting the money, something he can’t afford to keep doing as a new business owner.

Likewise, D’Andre Martin, co-owner of The Pit BBQ Grille noted that crime has continued to cost his businesses as well. The Pitt has locations in Clintonville, the German Village area, and North Market bridge Park. 

“It makes us have to spend more money on making sure our employees are safe and feel safe,” he said. According to Martin, The Pitt has installed cameras and even paid undercover security to watch his restaurants for break-in attempts.

This isn’t the case with every Columbus eatery, however. Fayrus “Fay” Abdi, owner of Fay’s Crepes in the Easton area, noted that crime, including Monday’s shooting, hasn’t affected her restaurant significantly.

“I didn’t even know that someone was killed at first,” she said. “The traffic was the same for us, and we hit the numbers we usually do on a Monday.”

Abdi stated that crime isn’t a typical occurrence in the area she’s located, and with Columbus Police having stated that Monday’s shooting was an isolated incident, she believes customers were able to look past what was deemed a one-off occurrence.

If you like this, read: One dead after German Village shooting; restaurants question worker safety

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