Customers step up to help metro restaurant damaged by vandals, hurt by pandemic

August 14,2020

Berndt Peterson, WSB-TV

An Atlanta restaurant that has been hurt by both the COVID-19 pandemic and vandals is getting help from their neighbors.

Every morning, Kwan Song places a sandwich board outside his downtown deli, Kwan’s Deli and Korean Kitchen.

“This is our life. This is the place we think we should make it. We raised our two boys and here we are today,” Song said.

The restaurant has seen 18 successful years along Marietta Street. But Andrew Song says the last 18 weeks have been a challenge for his family.

“A friend of mine texted me and said, ‘Are your parents OK?’ I didn’t know what he was talking about at first,” Andrew said.

Then he flipped on the news. On the night of May 29th, fires were burning around the corner from the restaurant. The next morning, they saw the damage that had been done.

“Everybody has their own story. Everybody has their own things they’re working through. We really need to be there for each other right now,” Kimberly Stone said.

Stone is a loyal customer who works down the street at the Georgia Aquarium. She cares about the Song family, so she and her aquarium colleagues organized a GoFundMe.

They recently presented Kwan’s Deli a check for more than $11,000.

“Downtown is a very united, supportive community. It’s a neighborhood,” Central Atlanta Progress spokesperson Wilma Sothern said.

Kwan Song is proud to be part of it. What he has given out all these years, is being given back.

“We try to be better people, better laborers, and better friends,” Song said.