Irie Kitchen vandalized; supporters raise more than $80K

Kent County

GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A vandal nearly destroyed all four windows at a black-owned restaurant but didn’t damage the owner’s grateful spirit.

“It’s hard for me to be angry,” said Vincent Mcintosh, owner of Irie Kitchen in Gaines Township. “At the same time, I’m getting so much love.”

Cellphone video showed some of the glass at the restaurant in pieces, but the community’s support is unshaken.

“It meant the world to me,” said Mcintosh.

Hours after surveillance video showed a person smashing in four of the restaurant’s windows just after 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, Mcintosh said he was reminded his customers are very loyal. They boarded up the broken windows.

“Seeing the love and support, we’re all just happy and very grateful,” said Mcintosh.

That love and support continued with a GoFundMe. Irie Kitchen supporter, Liz Della Croce, started it.

“People all over the country want to help Vince right now,” said Della Croce.

Della Croce says Mcintosh’s supporters, which include celebrities, have raised more than $80,000 in just 24 hours.

“Ree Drummond of Pioneer Woman made a large donation,” said Della Croce “It’s a blessing for us to be able to give back.”

Although Mcintosh doesn’t know if he was purposely the target of this destruction, he said the vandal didn’t rupture the fabric that binds all West Michigan together.

“Seeing that lit the fire under me to be more thankful, more grateful for us being here,” said Mcintosh.

Mcintosh said he plans to donate a portion of the money he has received from the GoFundMe. He said some funds will go to other businesses struggling to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department is investigating whether the vandalism was racially motivated.

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