Burien’s Salmon Creek Cafe has suffered some bad luck recently, with thieves stealing a large tent being set up to house outdoor dining during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The unusual theft occurred in the cafe’s parking lot located at 11620 Ambaum Blvd SW, where a 10×30 event tent had been set up and anchored.

E.J. Kim, who owns the cafe with her husband Douglas Gundlach (pictured, right), said that they had gone through numerous permitting issues with the City of Burien for several weeks, then finally set the tent up before finding the entire structure missing last Tuesday morning.

Several neighbors had volunteered to loan propane heaters, and they were just about ready to open up the new outdoor dining area.

Like many small restaurants, this cafe has suffered tremendously due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions placed on indoor seating due to the higher infection rate. Last month, owners even contemplated closing for good.

“They had been investing into their business for two years and had just started to see their business really pick up when COVID hit,” supporters said. “Since then, with all of the forced restaurant closures, they’ve gotten creative with new take-out menus and have still seen some support from the community, but since so many people are still not going out to eat, their business has taken a significant hit.”

The cafe remains open for takeout orders and deliveries though (via https://www.salmoncreekcafe.com), and owners said the tents would have allowed them to serve more than a dozen customers in their parking lot.

No suspects are known, but the day before the theft, numerous sandbags being used for the setup in the parking lot had been thrown around.

Friends and customers of the cafe have created a GoFundMe page, where you can donate online (as of Monday afternoon, $4,235 of the $5,000 goal had been raised).

“This holiday season, please consider helping these wonderful business owners in our community get through these trying times. Even if you choose not to make a donation, remember to go try a take-out order from them, or order one of their delicious pies or cakes for your holiday dinners!!”

https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-salmon-creek-cafe

More info here:

Salmon Creek Cafe is located at 11620 Ambaum Blvd SW: