Trendy meatpacking district restaurant Barbuto was the unlikely spot for a late-night robbery early Saturday.
The Daily News reports that three armed men stormed the restaurant after hours and bound and gagged an employee as they rifled through the place.
When the robbers couldn't open the safe to get cash, they made off with some computers and left the employee tied up and gagged. Only when a passing beat cop heard muffled screams from the restaurant was the staffer rescued. He was uninjured and told the police he did not recognize the intruders.
Barbuto is the downtown outpost of chef Jonathan Waxman, who was featured last year on Top Chef Masters. The News said Waxman raced to the restaurant after news of the burglary broke, and he appeared "shaken."
"We've never had anything like this happen here before," a restaurant worker told the News.
The neighborhood, a mainstay of fashionistas and foodies alike, is not familiar with such brazen acts of crime. Barbuto is in an affluent neighborhood and only a block away from the Jane Hotel. The News:
"You wouldn't expect this kind of thing to happen in this neighborhood," said Peter Hopkins, 29, a financial worker who lives down the block from Barbuto. "I live across the street, and I'll definitely be keeping an eye out."
"I hope it's not the start of a trend," Hopkins said.
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