A. John Aouad. Photo via fb.com
A long-time Lebanese restaurant in the area is “closed temporarily” after its owner and only chef sustained an injury.
Osta’s Lebanese Cuisine in East Grand Rapids, at 2228 Wealthy St. SE, made the closure announcement in a Facebook post last month, saying that owner A. John Aouad broke an ankle in a fall and would need surgery.
The restaurant’s voicemail message also says the restaurant is temporarily closed and directs callers to its Facebook page for updates.
A later post says Aouad underwent surgery on July 9 to repair three broken bones in his ankle.
Susan Cleland, an “addicted customer for at least 20 years,” started a GoFundMe page with a goal of $10,000 to supplement the family’s income loss during this “disaster.” By press time today, $8,250 has been raised by 113 people in 16 days.
“We think of each other much as family,” says Cleland, who says she has gone there with her daughters, now ages 18 and 20, since they were small.
“They take care of you like you’re at their Thanksgiving table.”
The restaurant is his family’s only source of income, Cleland says after discussions with the family.
The pages says due to the nature of the accident, it is possible that Aouad may not receive an insurance payment, and his medical insurance "may" help with medical treatment costs. The page also indicates the family will need help with other bills, such as their mortgage and restaurant rent.
“This is an unfortunate opportunity for us to let the Aouad family know how important they are to their friends, family, neighbors and customers,” the page says. “Please help us keep this family afloat and this restaurant in business.”
Osta’s has been open for 27 years, having been in its Gaslight Village location for 24 years.
The restaurant offers lunch, dinner, takeout and catering.