Community rebuilds restaurant’s outdoor patio after heat lamps stolen

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COLORADO SPRINGS — Chef Brother Luck of Lucky Dumpling was down on his luck when thieves cut cables to remove all of his outdoor heating lamps and propane tanks. After a brutal pandemic that challenged his business, it was one more thing in the way of getting back to normal business.

“They came in the middle of the night at 3:30 in the morning. We got it on the security camera but it was dark and they had hoods on,” Chef Luck said.

When Luck was forced to switch to outdoor dining during the pandemic, he and his general manager built a rendition of the current patio in haste.

But as luck will have it — HBA Cares, the philanthropic arm of the Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs, partnered with GE Johnson to donate new heating lamps and build out a whole new outdoor seating area. HBA Care had also helped to build parklets on Tejon St. before.

“It was amazing to hear that they wanted to help,” Chef Luck said.

HBA Cares was already in talks to help out Chef Luck and Lucky Dumpling when the heat lamps were stolen.

Chef Luck said 25 volunteers in the community and fans of the restaurant came out to help.

“Life has a funny way of working out. Brother and I had been in communication to already complete this outdoor seating…. and then that happened,” President of HBA Cares Tiffany Canady said. “And it just added to how powerful our community is when we come together and help one another.”

The rebuilding of the patio finished up on Saturday when customers of Lucky Dumpling were able to first use it.

After it was built, a delivery truck parked on the side of the road and unfortunately knocked down part of the newly built patio. Chef Luck and Canady were able to work together to get it built back up again.

Chef Luck said despite the series of unfortunate events, this partnership helps him to look on the bright side of things.

“I think when you see that something’s been taken from you, your first reaction is anger. But you know, I really felt deep in my heart, that if someone needed it, by all means,” Chef Luck said. “Let’s put some good prayers out there for these people because they’re obviously in need. So I just wanted to put something good out there. And in return, look what happens. People show up, they volunteer, they help us out.”

Chef Luck also encourages every person in the community to continue to support local businesses, and to purchase gift cards when you can.

“But also — don’t be afraid to put yourself out here and help someone else. Because it does come back. And I think this is a perfect example of what can be,” Chef Luck added.

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