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Church Bistro set to reopen after break-in

Robbers broke windows, stole cash, damaged equipment

Church Bistro has been closed since Aug 27. Credit: Rob Salerno

The owner of Church Bistro is hoping to reopen his restaurant Sept 9 after cleaning up from an early-morning robbery that caused thousands of dollars of damage.

Thieves broke into the restaurant around 5am on Aug 27. Video surveillance shows two men who can’t be identified smashing the glass window on the Bistro’s front door before entering and smashing the tempered glass window on the security door from the Bistro’s foyer.

Owner Yogesh Bahal says the robbers left blood all over the restaurant — he hopes it will help police catch the criminals.

Bahal says the robbers unsuccessfully attempted to break into the restaurant’s cash register by slamming it into the floor, ultimately damaging the floor. Police found the empty register in nearby Cawthra Park the next day.

The robbers also made off with approximately $600 in small change, as well as cash that had been kept aside for the mortgage payment. They also stole two bottles of liquor, a pair of sunglasses that belonged to the owner, a watch and ring that belonged to a server, and an expensive camera that was being used to film a promotional video for the restaurant, Bahal says.

“It’s sad because my business was doing very well,” Bahal says. “We started opening for dinner, which the previous owners never did. People were very happy with our service. It’s a family restaurant.”

Church Bistro opened in January at 555 Church St in the former location of the Church Street Diner. It serves traditional breakfast fare, as well as a lunch and dinner menu that’s an international fusion of Italian, Canadian and Indian and that changes every three months.