Video surveillance at the Cook & The Cork Restaurant.
By Kevin Deutsch
A Pride flag was stolen from a popular fine dining restaurant in Coral Springs Wednesday, ripped from the building by a person caught on surveillance video, the restaurant’s c0-owner said.
Dena Lowell Blauschild, who co-owns The Cook & The Cork restaurant with husband Keith, was in the middle of dinner service Wednesday night when she noticed something amiss: The establishment’s colorful Pride flag — hung prominently on the business’ exterior for Pride month — was gone.
A search of the restaurant’s surveillance camera video showed a person leaping into the air and snatching the flag off the business at 9890 W. Sample Rd., along with the attached flagpole, at 2:53 a.m., Lowell Blauschild said.
The person then walked toward the Checkers restaurant across the street before disappearing from view.
“It’s a happy, inclusive, positive symbol, and the irony of someone stealing it…that is not what it’s about,” Lowell Blauschild said of the flag’s message.
She said she was not sure whether the theft was intended as a hate gesture, “but because of what the flag symbolizes, it’s extra upsetting to us.”
The award-winning restaurant, which opened in 2014, is known as a welcoming melting pot that attracts customers of all backgrounds and beliefs. In 2015 and 2016, The Cook & The Cork was awarded the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. In 2017, it was honored with a Distinguished Restaurant of North America Award.
Lowell Blauschild said the restaurant has always proudly flown its Pride flag because it a “wonderful message to put out there.”
“Some people do feel marginalized, and some people do feel left out or not comfortable, especially in a fine dining situation,” she said. “So I made it a point to always fly our Pride flag as much as possible.”
She said numerous customers thanked the business for flying the flag and making them feel welcome.
“It’s very inspiring for me to celebrate Pride,” Lowell Blauschild said.
The restaurant at one time flew their flag year-round but “started to get hate mail” that scared Lowell Blauschild, she said.
“And then this happened.”
She said she planned to report the incident to Coral Springs Police on Thursday.
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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