COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., (KRDO) -- A family-owned and operated restaurant celebrated its grand re-opening Tuesday, four months after a car smashed into the dining room.
After opening its doors on August 5, 2019, Taste of Brasil has endured years of hardship. Owner Alex Da Silva told KRDO it's been a difficult three years trying to work around the COVID-19 pandemic.
The stress only grew when Da Silva got a call in the middle of the night back in March from the police saying someone had driven through the restaurant.
According to the Colorado Springs Police Department, someone had driven through the dining room before driving off.
Since that night, the restaurant has been boarded up. The driver of the vehicle was eventually found and faces charges.
Still, Da Silva explained that the restaurant went without revenue for four months, losing thousands of dollars and priceless memorabilia. He also explained how the situation took a mental toll on everyone.
"How do you calculate emotional stuff? How do you calculate a loss of momentum- I lost a whole summer," explained Da Silva.
According to Da Silva, the restaurant was supposed to host a graduation party for someone from the U.S. Airforce Academy, but that wasn't able to happen due to the closure.
Thanks to community donations made through a GoFundMe page, however, the family was able to raise about $6,000 to reopen.
The owners' credit community support for helping them get back on their feet.
"This is what it means to me - it is touching people with our culture, our friendship and you know love," said Da Silva. "That's what we say to every customer when they come here for the first time when they leave we say, spread the love."
During the grand opening Tuesday, Taste of Brasil had an authentic Brazilian menu and imported goods.
"I never thought I had touched so many people- we even have people in the military saying, 'you know what I do for a living? I will find you don't go anywhere, if you close down I will hunt you down so I said no, you know, with this love, I cannot go anywhere, it is just too much," added Da Silva.
Taste of Brasil is now open six days a week for business, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. More information is available on the restaurant's website.