Redwood Smoke Shack bounces back after building vandalized, property stolen

Posted at 1:17 PM, May 24, 2020

NORFOLK, Va. - Redwood Smoke Shack's unlucky streak started on Wednesday when a quick-handed criminal stole their employee Surge's bike.

Surge has been with the restaurant for almost a year and has never missed a day of work, his bike being the main reason for his perfect attendance.

"That's his only mode of transportation. I mean, he cares so much about that bike, so that was an awful phone call to get [that it had been stolen]," said the owner of Redwood Smoke Shack, Bob Roberts. "He had to walk to work [for] two days, and it took him an hour to get to work each day."

The crimes wouldn't stop there. A few days later the front of the business, and others nearby, were sprayed with black graffiti. Roberts said he couldn't help but shake his head.

"Again, it was another like kick in the rear-end about 'Why? And who did it? And what's next?'" he told News 3.

So on Saturday, their busiest day of the week, the morning was spent doing some deep cleaning.

Roberts called in a friend, who power-washed the front of the restaurant until it looked as good as new. With a fresh look out front, there was still one thing left to take of - Surge's bike.

Little did Surge know, in the midst of the vandalization, the Norfolk community was working on a surprise. Roberts and the rest of the staff called him into work and said that they had new information about his stolen bike.

However, when he walked inside, he was greeted with a brand new bike, nicer than he had ever had before.

In a Facebook Live video that recorded the entire moment, you can hear Roberts in the background saying, "Here you go, brother. This is from all of our customers. [The customers] have been donating for you, so we appreciate you, we love you, we love what you do."

Customers and staff pooled their money together and were able to raise enough money to buy Surge a brand-new bike, equipped with a big bow, a lock and multiple lights.

The show of support from the community is helping this local business stand tall through every obstacle, in the middle of a pandemic.

"You can't keep Redwood down! I don't care who you are," Roberts said. "There's always going to be a light at the end of that tunnel."