Gerald and Kim Nathan think their restaurant, South Florida Style Chicken & Ribs, was a victim of vandalism this past weekend.

According to Gerald, a grill was left out overnight Friday near the restaurant‘s back door. When he found it the next morning, the tank was removed and pipes were bent.

Originally from Florida, the couple started the restaurant as a fundraiser in Concord, North Carolina, in 2006 to raise money for a youth sports program that they founded and to support others who wanted to play football.

The Nathans chose to come to Columbia after their son Gerald Nathan Jr. fell in love with MU and Columbia. Their son now plays on the university’s football team as a linebacker.

The Nathans established South Florida Style Chicken & Ribs in Columbia, and they said the city has welcomed them with open arms.

Just as the Nathans supported others, customers are showing support for them. A GoFundMe has been organized for the Nathans by Eric Margheim, one of the restaurant’s patrons.

“They have great food, are good people and need our help to get back in business,” Margheim wrote on the GoFundMe webpage.

The restaurant is currently closed, but not for long. A rental grill has been given to the Nathans by AI Party Rentals, and they expect to be back Wednesday.

Gerald Nathan Sr. is keeping his head held high.

“Things happen, ... and we will bounce back,” he said.

  • General Assignment reporter, spring 2021 Studying Journalism - Arts & Culture Reach me at njmdg5@umsystem.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5700.

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