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Penn Lake Roast Beef Reopens Months After Owner Was Shot During Attempted Robbery

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - A Twin Cities restaurant owner is back to work three months after he was shot while on the job.

Penn Lake Roast Beef closed down after its owner was shot during an attempted robbery on June 16. Kevan Tran was closing up the restaurant the night when it happened.

On his opening day three months later, the community came out to support him. The line was out the door within minutes of opening, and customers came for more than just the food.

"He's a Bloomington gem," said Seth Peake. "He's a nice man and a tribute to our community."

Tran, 58, spent close to a month in the hospital recovering from gun shot wounds during an attempted robbery when he was closing up shop.

"Point gun to me, I thought it was fake gun, I said 'get out of here!'" said Tran. He was shot three times and was in critical condition. Customers left cards and flowers at the closed restaurant, hoping Tran would recover, and he did.

On Thursday, the line drew down the block with customers wanting lunch and a chance to greet Tran.

Peake described Tran as "someone who will show you the love he has for the community, especially cooking."

Tran learned to cook from his mother. Growing up in Vietnam, he moved to the United States in 1988, working at a different roast beef shop in town for more than two decades. Then, he decided to open his own.

The secret to his roast beef?

"Everything we're cooking," said Tran, pointing to his chest, "from here."

Because he cooks with heart, the customers keep coming back.

Police arrested two men in July in connection with the crime. Tran said in response to the incident, they now close at 7 p.m. every Monday through Saturday.

Tran said he has been doing physical therapy. His family wants to thank the staff at HCMC for helping him recover.

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