News

Hilo Restaurant Burgled by Unknown Thief

February 25, 2021, 11:14 AM HST
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A small, family-owned Lebanese food establishment in Hilo reported it was burglarized Wednesday morning at approximately 2:30 am by an unknown perpetrator.

Hilo Tabaraka opened June 10, 2020, offering Lebanese cuisine. PC: Hilo Tabaraka

The intruder broke into Tabaraka’s facility and stole multiple items of value from the inside the building, as well as from the temporary food truck parked inside a fenced property off of Ululani Street and Waianuenue Avenue. The restaurant establishment said the thief made off with essential items needed to operate, which forced it to close down operations for the day.

Owner and manager, Fares Boughanem, said the restaurant has spent significant time and capital increasing the security system at the facility since the burglary and commended the Big Island police for their swift action in Wednesday’s investigation.

“Although this is a bump in the road, it won’t stop us from doing what we love and feeding people,” Boughanem said.

Tabaraka has existed since 2016, serving the communities of Waimea and Puna at local farmers markets. In early 2020, the proprietors opened their new location on Waianuenue Avenue in Hilo and have been offering diverse, authentic Lebanese food options since.

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“It has been a very successful year despite the challenges and limitations inherent with the difficult times through the COVID-19 pandemic,” Boughanem said. “Feeding delicious, healthy food to the people in our community we love is the reason we started this business and do what we do. In Arabic, ‘Tabaraka’ means ‘Blessings Be,’ and that meaning travels from our original homeland to our new forever home, Hilo, and into the food we create.”

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Tabaraka reopened to the public on Thursday. Orders can be placed online at www.tabarakahi.com, by phone (808) 825-7003, or in person. Pick-up options or socially-distanced outdoor seating are available. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 am 8 pm.

Anyone with any information regarding the incident is asked to call the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.

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