By Brett Ashley Hawkins
After closing their restaurant at 4390 Atlantic Avenue last Saturday night, George’s 50’s Diner co-owners George and Helen Alvarez arrived the next morning in shock after one of their cooks discovered a hole punched in one door and two back doors pried open– the restaurant had been broken into. Among the items lost were coffee machines, hundreds of pounds of beef, all but two of their 75 die-cast model cars shelved over the top of the front counter (valued at more than $11,000), and several hundred dollars of petty cash.
“We responded to the business on Saturday, Oct. 17 at approximately 6am to take a report regarding a burglary that had occurred,” said Nancy Pratt of the Long Beach Police Department’s media relations detail. “The suspects had forced entry into the business and had taken a variety of items.
However, it was going to take the owners some time to take inventory and determine all of the actual loss. We do not have any suspect information at this time and are asking for the public’s help.”
This week, the Alvarezes have received overwhelming support from the community as several locals and regulars have joined together to donate money and even die-cast model cars to help redecorate the restaurant and restore it to its former glory.
“The regulars who eat here have been most supportive,” said George Alvarez. “I’m thankful for their business and for their friendship.” The Alvarezes intend to use the money to replenish their beef stock and to update the restaurant with a new security system.
“I’m not worried,” said Parvati Ward, a regular of the restaurant. “These people are some of the most resourceful people in this city, and they have a lot of friends that’ll help pick them back up again. The support I’ve seen so far is unbelievable. Everyone loves this place.”