LANCASTER, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — There have never been more people inside Marcelo’s restaurant at one time than there was tonight.

Just one month ago, a sheet and wood covered the front door after vandals smashed it and destroyed everything they could inside. But tonight, the Lancaster community came out to support this small business with food and music in a Friday benefit concert.

Marcelo Castillo’s Dominican-style restaurant at 2151 W. Meeting St. has grown by word of mouth and is now a big name in the Lancaster community.

“Our neighbors, Matt and Leslie Conner, they’re the ones that told us the food was phenomenal,” one customer said Friday.

Neighbors supported the two-year-old restaurant after a break-in left the business with more than $11,000 in damages. The suspects tore TVs off the wall and destroyed the kitchen.

But a month later, it’s back open for business.

“We were heartbroken, I mean, we really were, and we don’t live here; we came all the way from Goldsboro, North Carolina,” husband and wife Gwyn and Mark Lafave said. “So when we came back this weekend, we wanted to come and support him. We didn’t know this was going on. This was a happy coincidence, and it worked out really well, and we’re glad to see so many people from the community supporting him.”

The community rallied to hold this fundraiser to honor a man who keeps their stomachs full and a smile on their faces. They enjoyed a special menu ranging from BBQ ribs to tempura fried shrimp to beef oxtails after donating money to help get the restaurant back on its feet.

“It doesn’t make sense for what they did, but you know what Marcelo’s is bigger than that,” said neighbor Rod Redman. “We go further, we rebuild, the community is getting bigger, more people are coming, so we show them that we’re stronger.”

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There still hasn’t been an arrest made in this case. Castillo says he’s patiently waiting, but regardless, he will stay open and sell his food.

The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office asks anyone with information to call Deputy Simmons at 803-283-3388.