Wednesday, March 30, 2005
The owners of the Noodle House Restaurant of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.), Canada were overwhelmed by community support Tuesday when the restaurant overflowed with customers, cards, flowers, and personal pleas to not leave the province.
According to CBC News Prince Edward Island, the recent outpouring of support occurred after Tommy and Lina Ko, the restaurant owners, announced they would close the restaurant and leave the province following an incident two weeks ago, when groups of up to 200 teens from two nearby schools surrounded the restaurant, pelting it with snowballs, and threatening the Kos. Charlottetown Police Chief Paul Smith told CBC PEI that his force is ready to take whatever action is necessary to crack down on the behaviour and last week started videotaping over lunchtime when most of the misbehaviour has taken place. Police noted that they have received complaints from other businesses, pedestrians, and drivers in the busy “fast food alley” and intend to seek co-operation from the schools in identifying the main culprits.
However, a CBC PEI story from October, 2002, reported the Kos asking police to do more to stop the littering and other vandalism in the area including having signs smashed, windows broken, and fireworks set off in front of their restaurant. At that time, Deputy Chief Richard Collins told CBC PEI: “You can’t have upwards of 1,500 to 2,000 students in and around that area at dinner hour and not expect for some of them to misbehave,” but promised to continue patrols and try to teach the students respect of property.
Tommy Ko told CBC News that he was overwhelmed by the support this week and in thanks put on a surprise free buffet, though customers insisted on paying anyway. Nevertheless, after fighting the harassment for some five years, the Kos say they still are not sure they want to stay.