LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- After struggling to attract customers during the pandemic, a Las Cruces restaurant owner watched her restaurant catch on fire this past weekend.
“It’s just a double whammy," said Vanessa Smith, owner of Nessa's Cafe in west Las Cruces. "Covid caught everybody off guard... but now this completely halts things and shuts us down for a little while.”
Smith told ABC-7 that a cutting board fell onto the pilot light of the stove in the kitchen and caught fire around 10 p.m. Saturday. Thankfully, a neighbor called 911.
“The worst came to mind because I saw so many fire trucks out there," Smith said. “It’s going to cost a good penny."
Smith estimates the repairs will likely cost at least $6,000. Her friend has organized a GoFundMe to help raise the money.
Since 2016, Smith said she's had a loyal base of customers that have supported her, even during the pandemic.
“It’s a really special place," Smith said. "Everybody’s been really supportive. So, hopefully we’ll get it going as fast as we can.”