On Monday afternoon, a man walked into Hong Kong Chef restaurant in Uptown where he poured gasoline on the floor, lit a fire and ran out. But before he did, he apparently demanded money, according to the restaurant's owner, who identified himself simply as Chen.
Chen said that a month ago, the delivery driver's car was stolen from in front of the restaurant; the driver left the car running while he ran inside to get more delivery orders. Not long after, Chen said a note was posted to the restaurant demanding $5,000 if they wanted to get the car back or else the restaurant would be burned down. The delivery driver then quit, fearing for his life, Chen said.
The owner said that a Hispanic man, looking to be between 30 and 40 years old, entered the store on Monday around 1:30 p.m. and demanded the money. When Chen said they didn't have any money, the man poured the gasoline and lit it. "Originally we didn't call police because we didn't want to be involved with this kind of trouble," Chen said. "But we called after the fire."
While damage was fairly minimal (it mostly burned the counter), Chen said they will be closed for a total of three days to fix up the space. Hong Kong Chef will re-open on Thursday for business.
· Arson at Hong Kong Chef [Uptown Update]
[Photo: Yelp via Uptown Update]