The White Rock branch of critically acclaimed pizzeria Il Cane Rosso hasn't even opened yet, and it's been vandalized twice in the past four days.
According to owner Jay Jerrier, thieves broke into the location April 11 and then again early Sunday morning. They made off with valuable equipment, including an espresso machine.
"I'm just a ball of stress right now," said Jerrier, who was trying to relax by going to work at the original branch in Deep Ellum. "They broke in on Thursday; they took a prosciutto slicer and two tea urns. What are you going to do with tea urns?"
Jerrier signed a lease at the former CJ's Billiard Palace space at the corner of Grand and Gaston avenues last November, with a plan to open a second outlet of his Guy Fieri-approved Neapolitan-style pizzeria in Lakewood, near White Rock Lake. The space has since been under construction, with the acquisition of a domed oven from Italy and the creation of a sizable outdoor patio with trellis and fountain.
Sunday morning's break-in was far more serious. The security alarm was activated, but the thieves came in from an empty storefront next door.
"They actually cut a hole in the drywall from the vacant space next door and crawled through the hole in the wall," Jerrier said. "They yanked the espresso machine out. Water sprayed everywhere."
Chef Dino Santonicola arrived at the scene to find a welding machine used by the construction crew to be missing, along with knives, a measuring scale and other kitchen equipment. Broken glass was everywhere. Police reports have been filed for both incidents.
Jerrier said that the damage caused will probably push back his targeted opening date. And now the site has security guards patrolling the space at night. "Funny, because Deep Ellum is supposed to be the 'scary' neighborhood," he said.
"Nobody got hurt, and that's a good thing," Santonicola said. "And starting this morning, I"m going to work with my new BFF – a Ruger 357 magnum with a laser."