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Family-Owned Lotus Restaurant Among Minneapolis Businesses Looted In Wednesday Night Riots

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Wednesday night's unrest in Minneapolis wasn't contained to just Nicollet Mall. Some businesses near Loring Park were also hit.

Surveillance video from inside the Lotus shows people kicking in the windows. One person appears to use a dining room chair to then smash another one.

This Vietnamese restaurant has been run by the same family for two generations and more than 30 years. Now it's covered in glass and boarded up again.

"To be honest this hurts a lot," Toom Nguyen said. "Just to see this happening to us here."

Toom, one of the restaurant's owners, said the employees closed down the restaurant before the violence made its way from Nicollet Mall toward Loring Park.

"They just broke stuff for no reason," Yoom Nguyen said.

His brother Yoom came to check on the restaurant around 9 'o'clock Wednesday night. He told the growing crowd they were a family-owned restaurant and didn't have anything inside of value.

Still, the storefront windows were smashed.

"You know we work hard, we're all minorities, just don't do that stuff and the thought he could have lost his life or someone could have gotten really hurt -- it made me question a lot of things," co-owner Yoom Nguyen said.

The owners said the civil unrest after George Floyd's death caused around 30 thousand dollars worth of damage to the restaurant. They are unsure how much longer Lotus will be able to stay downtown.

"Our staff is scared," Yoom said. "We don't have any leadership or protection, we don't know what to do here."

The brothers did say they were grateful police responded quickly and blocked off the businesses from more damage.

"What did we do as a business?" Toom asked. "We didn't do anything to deserve this."

The looters at Lotus took $200 in cash out of the register, broke an iPad, and someone also cut the line to their security camera.

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