Community embraces Delia’s Restaurant with ‘heartwarming’ support after burglary

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Outside Delia’s Restaurant on York Street in Los Angeles, CA. Oct. 28, 2022. Luka Jackson/TheOccidental

Delia’s Restaurant on York Boulevard was burglarized on the night of Oct. 22 at around 3:00 a.m., according to co-owner Delia Flores. Delia’s Restaurant is a Mexican diner with a homelike atmosphere — singing with community, yellow wall accents and colorful papel picado hanging flags.

Flores said their alarm system alerted her and her husband to the situation. They arrived at the restaurant 15 minutes after receiving the alert and said they were surprised to see the intruders starting to exit. The police were not on the scene, she said, but they arrived less than four minutes after the couple called from their car outside the restaurant.

“I feared for my life,” Flores said. “We found the people still inside, and I felt like we were in danger because they had some type of iron bats.”

No suspect has been caught yet, Flores said. $1,000 in cash and three gas cylinders for sodas were stolen, and Flores said expensive glass in a door was broken.

“[The day after] it was heartwarming. The neighbors brought us donuts, we received so many calls then, there were also clients who wanted to pay for the door. It was something very beautiful,” Delia said. “That day people came to support us, to buy from us, and we were very busy.”

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Delia Flores, owner of Delia’s Restaurant, inside her restaurant in Los Angeles, CA. Oct. 28, 2022. Luka Jackson/The Occidental

Greg Davis, a regular customer and Eagle Rock resident, said a circling helicopter woke him up after the incident around 3:30 a.m. (Flores confirmed that the helicopter was present due to the incident.) Davis said he went to the restaurant later that same morning and saw the left front door boarded up. He ordered an orange juice and asked what happened.

“I told [Delia] I was concerned and everything, and she gave me a hug,” Davis said.

Davis said they have hugged probably four times. No other restaurant owner has ever hugged Davis.

“She’s just that way to all her customers,” Davis said. “She’s naturally outgoing, friendly. That’s why people like going there. You can tell they put their love into the food and their affection. You feel taken care of, and it’s really awesome.”

Adalia Vidarte, a teacher and Eagle Rock resident, tweeted about the burglary, asking people to go support Delia’s Restaurant. Vidarte said that whenever she walks in and Flores is not busy, she and Flores will chat about their days or about neighborhood happenings.

“It really does feel like home,” Vidarte said. “It feels like I’m going into my mom’s kitchen and sitting down and having a conversation with my mom.”

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Outside Delia’s Restaurant on York Street in Los Angeles, CA. Oct. 28, 2022. Luka Jackson/TheOccidental

Flores said that the restaurant feels like more of a family than a business. She estimated that about 80 percent of customers are from the Occidental community.

“I feel really appreciative of Occidental students,” Flores said. “They are very kind, very supportive and comfortable to interact with. It’s nice to watch the four years of a student who comes here… Sometimes a regular student will come back with their parents during their graduation.”

To experience Delia’s Restaurant, go to 4501 York Blvd.

Contact Angela Guglielmino at aguglielmino@oxy.edu

*The interviews with Delia Flores were translated from Spanish by Nicole Ríos (senior).