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Birchwood Cafe, J Selby's hit by weekend break-ins

Saturday began with a disappointingly similar scene for the two Twin Cities restaurants.

Saturday began with a disappointingly similar scene for the two Twin Cities restaurants. Facebook: Birchwood Cafe, J Selby's

These are tough times to run a restaurant.

Tougher still if you're getting your windows and doors smashed.

"We're sorry to report that we've been broken into again," the J Selby's team shared via social channels on Saturday morning. (The St. Paul vegan favorite had been broken into in December 2018, when a thief made off with donations meant for the Franklin-Hiawatha encampment.)

The morning of May 16 also began with a break-in discovery at Birchwood Cafe, where it looks like someone threw a brick through the front door and took off with... a completely empty cash drawer. 

Both restaurants are handling it as resolutely as possible; Birchwood staffers were said to be "sweeping glass, brewing up the beans, and baking our hearts out over here," while J Selby's, though boarded up, was open as usual for lunch and dinner to-go service. 

And both have been met with an outpouring of well-wishes from the community, who have, among other things: offered to help clean up, promised to stop by ASAP for food, and generally shared messages of disappointment and support for their neighborhood restaurants. 

There's a through-current of understanding from many commenters, who noted the desperation so many people are feeling right now. It ain't just restaurants who have it hard right now, it's pretty much everyone. We get it.

Still, as Birchwood's Tracy Singleton remarked on Twitter: "I wish they would have at least taken something to eat."