Excrement smeared in race attack on cafe

AL WILLIAMS
Last updated 05:00 19/06/2013
ARTrio co-owner Danny Tan
Natasha Martin

LEAVING TOWN: ARTrio co-owner Danny Tan won two awards at the South Canterbury Hospitality and Tourism Awards in 2011.

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An award-winning Waimate restaurant has been the target of continuing attacks that appear to be racially motivated.

The ARTrio Cafe is understood to have become the victim of a vandalism campaign after owner Danny Tan made a public stand against drugs.

The Waimate District Council was yesterday told of a building that had been the victim of targeted assaults and the smearing of excrement.

Mayor John Coles confirmed the attacks were against the ARTrio Cafe and "appear racist".

Resident Susan Palmer first raised concerns over "rumours" of a concerted race attack.

She said someone was physically assaulted, "a bag put over his head and excrement smeared over a building".

Tan did not want to comment but has put his business up for sale.

He said he was returning to Malaysia because of an unrelated matter.

Tan and cousins Mike Yong and Wei Tat Tang set up the cafe in 2009 and won the restaurant and cafe experience and coveted people's choice awards at the 2011 South Canterbury Hospitality and Tourism Awards.

Comments about the cafe on review website Menumania hail its "amazing customer service".

Annie said: "It was a cold day when we arrived and as we waited for our order we were given a hot stone to warm our hands on and complimentary tea. Then a plate of complimentary toffee biscuits to try."

Kaydubya commented: "The co-owners of this cafe are customer service personified. They are the best example I've experienced of under-promising and over-delivering."

Senior Sergeant Mike Van der Heyden said police were aware of several incidents.

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- The Timaru Herald

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