After several windows were shot at and shattered last week, local restaurant owner Kabal Gill is wondering how East India Grill is going to cover the replacement expenses.
East India Grill, located at 31845 Gateway Center Blvd. S. in Federal Way, has seen an uptick in vandalism and destruction of the restaurant in recent months, and the staff are beginning to feel unsafe, Gill said.
“People are angry and frustrated and taking it out on us,” Gill said of the recent incidents. “We’re taking a lot of beatings.”
Approximately nine glass window panes were shot at sometime overnight on May 12, with what appears to be BB gun pellets, police told staff.
Several large panes are shattered, and about six windows have multiple pellet holes. After vandals threw a large item into one of the restaurant’s windows a few month ago, the replacement of a single larger window pane cost upwards of $14,000, staff said.
“We fear for our safety,” Gill said.
Unforeseen expenses are especially hard on the restaurant, coupled with the sharp decrease in customers since the pandemic began, he said.
Gill, who returned to the restaurant on May 14 after undergoing hand surgery the previous day, said it will cost them thousands to replace all of the windows.
Gateway Center management is looking into covering the cost of the repairs and replacements so East India Grill does not have to, said Jim Scherbinske, a representative of WAII Retail Management, which owns the Gateway Center.
“We feel this can help him focus on his business instead of these repairs,” Scherbinske said in a May 16 email.
The Gateway Center does not have surveillance cameras at the time, but the site does have on-site security patrolling throughout the day and during the overnight hours, Scherbinske said.
Security patrols are provided by F-Dub Services, a private enforcement and protection agency serving King and Pierce counties.
Last year, Sound Transit demolished the former movie theater at Gateway Center to make room for the incoming Federal Way Link Extension light rail route.
A lack of lights at night near the construction site, which is directly behind East India Grill, allows other crimes to occur, Gill said.
Jim Parker, site manager and head of security, provided photos to show the side of East India Grill and another Gateway Center tenant do have lights along the back portion of their stores.
The construction site remains dark, but several remaining light poles in the parking lot and plaza area provide light behind the restaurant.
“All tenants have the opportunity to put cameras in their own facility pointing out to catch these types of incidents,” Parker said.
Gill also said gas theft from cars in the parking lot is common. Scherbinske said cars are not permitted to be parked overnight at the Gateway Center and that gas theft is not believed to be an ongoing issue.