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Garden Bistro in Ignacio Trashed by Vandals

Damage estimated at $5,000; restaurant owner says people are always drinking and loitering near bus stop outside her place.

Vandals hit the newly renovated Garden Bistro on Enfrente Road, smashing windows, overturning planters at the front of the restaurant and breaking two fountains in the back patio, according to restaurant manager Nadia Hattar who got word of the damage early this morning. 

Hattar said that they are still totaling the damages but it could go as high as $10,000. 

Loitering and drinking at the bus stop in front of the restaurant has long been a problem according to Hattar.  “This area is not what it used to be,” she said. 

“We’ve begged and pleaded for something to be done but we can’t call it loitering because they’re at a bus stop,” she added. 

Hattar said that last week their landscaper's lawnmower and tools were stolen from the back of his truck within minutes of his parking in the lot while he was cleaning up in the back patio. 

Restaurant owner Hilda Hattar was too upset to discuss the situation with reporters this morning.  “She’s not taking it so well," said her daughter Nadia Hattar. “It definitely hurts.” 

Quick work by the glass company and the restaurant staff, allowed the restaurant to open in time for the Thursday lunch crowd.  

“Dotto Glass has been amazing,” said Nadia Hattar. “They cancelled a bunch of appointments and somehow got some special order glass within half an hour of talking with them.” 

“My crew here is like family so that always helps,” said Hattar. “…so everyone picked up and swept up and made everything amazing.” 

The Garden Bistro underwent a major remodel that included interior, exterior and kitchen upgrades, parking lot resurfacing, signage and menu change over the spring and reopened in June to rave reviews.

John Parnell October 25, 2012 at 11:47 PM
I doubt the Hattar's would agree with the "crime is down" spin we keep hearing. This is just terrible. Maybe the NPD could send some of their police dogs to loiter alongside these guys that like to hang out & drink at the bus stop. (Thanks to Toni Shroyer & your Pennies for Police Dogs for giving us that opportunity.) I haven't eaten at Garden Bisto in too many years, but I intend to start giving them my business more.
Ventress Dugan October 26, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Isn't this restaurant next to or very close to the fire station? Did they hear any noise? This kind of disturbance would cause some attention.....on a main entrance off the freeway....these people deserve more attention from the police, if this is a bus stop in Novato.
John Marshall October 26, 2012 at 07:31 PM
I noticed a video camera has been mounted on a pole opposite the fire station. Any chance it caught some of this horrible activity. Also increasing patrols after an incident like this is too little too late.
Novatan October 26, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Oh No! This breaks my heart. The Hattars are good people, with a great restaurant. That frontage road is a thoroughfare for transients and drunken idiots. I hope NPD gets some leads on this heinous act.
John Parnell November 02, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Awesome takeout from Garden Bistro the other night. I hope everyone can support this Novato gem. www.gardenmedrestaurant.com/

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