Fire, burglary won't keep iconic Seattle lounge from reopening

Fire, burglary won't keep iconic Seattle lounge from reopening »Play Video
SEATTLE -- An iconic Seattle business was hit with a double whammy of a devastating fire followed by a costly burglary.

The Rickshaw Restaurant and Lounge is well known for its karaoke and fortune telling, but no one could have predicted the string of bad luck that came this year.

Owner Ginger Luke said the Rickshaw has legions of loyal customers. But Luke has had to turn them away while she and her team rebuilds. The lounge has been closed since March, when a grease fire engulfed the kitchen and caused $25,000 in damage.

Undeterred, Luke and her staff renovated and set July 7 as the bar's grand reopening date.

It was a celebration that never happened.

On the eve of the reopening, Luke said someone broke in and looted the refurbished restaurant, making off with $15,000 worth of copper wiring and leaving little evidence behind.

"These people were very smart. They knew what they were doing," Luke said. "The first thing people said was, 'Oh, we have cameras. We should be able to get them.' We go upstairs and the cameras are all missing."

Despite the many setbacks, Luke refuses to give. She's been through much worse, including a near-fatal armed-robbery attempt 30-years ago.

"I've been a victim of crime. I was shot in an armed robbery three times," she said. "Once in the shoulder, once in the arm. (it) missed my heart by a millimeter."

No matter what she's had to deal with, Luke said now isn't the time for her or the Rickshaw to call it quits.

"I've had a lot of good things happen," she said. "The bad, the good things in life have outweighed them. I think life is about being positive."

Luke said insurance will not cover the recent copper theft and police say they don't have any suspects in the case.

Information about how to donate to the Rickshaw is available here.