CHICAGO - A popular Chicago restaurant that has become the focus of Black Lives Matter protesters has now closed its doors for good.
The owners of Nini’s Deli in Noble Square were blasted for racist and homophobic views posted to social media.
Just days ago, Nini's Deli at Ohio and Noble was drawing hundreds of customers a day as one of the city’s best-reviewed restaurants. Now, the business is closed, the building boarded over and painted black.
"This was a beloved neighborhood area and neighborhood restaurant. Just until a couple weeks ago. And once they came out with their political and religious views, it all went downhill pretty quick,” said neighbor Brian Dorynek.
Brothers Juan and Jose Riesco made the incendiary comments outside their restaurant last week, comparing Black Lives Matter to the KKK and making anti-black and homophobic slurs. They said their views are based on the Bible.
Hundreds of protesters descended on the restaurant over the past three days and the brothers have disappeared.
Now, a GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $4,000 to help restaurant employees who suddenly find themselves out of a job.
"We just decided to do the right thing and help out the employees because they had no hand in any of this hate speech, anything that was going on here. Their victims just like anybody else,” said Zach Henderson who set up the GoFundMe campaign.
The pizza by the slice restaurant right next-door to the deli will donate all sales next Monday to those same employees.
"You just ruined the business. Your employees will have no money. What is going on?" said Adriana Markese of Hometeam Pizza.
Chicago Police continue to keep an eye on the corner in case protests flare up again.
Still though, neighbors cannot believe what happened.
"He did it all to himself. Completely. He decided to make the exact opposite response and use this as a way to promote hate speech. In the name of Jesus. Which nobody liked either,” said neighbor Lydia Dorynek.