Coworkers rally around St. Louis Park cook who was hit by a car Friday

Support growing for beloved cook who was hit by car

Support growing for beloved cook who was hit by car

A St. Louis Park cook was hit by a car in Minneapolis and his coworkers are rallying around him to support.

Ben Theisen, The Loop executive chef, said it’s second nature to try and help one of their own.

“We have a pretty deep family-like mentality in the restaurant,” he said.

Marcelo Lala, St. Louis Park The Loop cook, has been a part of The Loop family for nearly 10 years.

Coworkers describe him as a friendly face in the kitchen who took pride in every plate he sent out the door. 

“He was just a really great worker that was working for me for a long time. He kind of became family,” Theisen said.

On Sept. 29, the restaurant got a call that Lala would not be into work. They later found out he was hit by a car in Minneapolis.

His injuries were life-threatening in the beginning, but now he’s stable.

He remains in a medically induced coma with broken legs, ribs and a traumatic brain injury.

“It’s so sad,” Thiesen said. “The first thing I thought about was he has a wife and a two-year-old daughter.”

Servers said for the past week, they felt a void from the back of the house to the front.

“No one deserves this, but it’s just really heartbreaking knowing that this happened to Marcelo,” Shioona Samejima, The Loop server, said. “It’s just sad.”

The team launched a GoFundMe fundraiser hoping to help the family of three get through a tragic time.

“When one of us goes down, it really hurts the whole team,” Theisen said.