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Iconic Soul Food Restaurant Reopens After Brazen Theft

A legendary soul food restaurant on Chicago’s South Side was shuttered for days after thieves made off with copper wiring, but things are getting back to normal thanks to some big-hearted contributions from the community.

“I couldn’t have made it without them the other day,” Josephine Wade, more affectionately known as “Mother Wade,” said.

Contractors from IBEW Local 134 helped restore power to Captain’s Hardtimes, allowing it to open just days after thieves made off with most of the copper wiring from the building.

“We wanted to make sure we had the place up and running,” Elbert Walters said. “We did not want this to go by the wayside, so we called in as many contractors and favors as we could.”

Security cameras captured the thieves working outside the building, ripping out copper wiring and leaving the institution without power. 

After the wiring was replaced, ComEd worked quickly to restore power.

“We serve in this community, and we live in this community,” ComEd External Affairs Manager Jamil Muhammad said. “She’s helped so many people, and we were just happy we were available to restore her service as quickly as possible.”

Another company, MZI, dropped what they were doing to help come to the rescue for Mother Wade and her restaurant.

Chicago’s beloved Mother Wade has taken a hard hit to her famous restaurant after the South Side eatery was hit by thieves seeking copper wiring. NBC 5’s Michelle Relerford has the story. 

“We got out, ordered the cable, assessed it, and performed the work,” Bob Howaniec said.

The restaurant, also known as Josephine’s Cookin, may have lost all of its food after the robbery, but it was community spirit that helped get the restaurant back in business.

“Hey, we’re neighbors. We take care of each other out here,” Mother Wade said. 

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