(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The iconic Barbosa's Castle in downtown St. Joseph will be closed for at least two weeks as restaurant store owners work to replace the air conditioning units and accompanying copper wiring that vandals stolen Monday night. While owners say it is frustrating dealing with this for the now third year in a row, it's their employees that will take the brunt of the temporary closure.
With no AC and daily highs topping out in the 80s, Barbosa's owners will have to keep their downtown location closed until all three AC units and their wiring can be replaced, forcing full-time employees at the downtown location to share hours with full-time employees at the Barbosa's East location.
"Our employees have families and homes to take care of," said Barbosa's Co-Owner Jim Ransom. "We feel bad because people won't make full weeks pay because we don't have open hours."
"Money they could have had in their pockets to take care of whatever they needed to take care of at home, kids, and family that's all going to change now because of this," said 15-year employee Tyler Ransom. "It just makes me mad because things like this shouldn't happen; taking something from someone else and they have no right to take."
Barbosa's has been a part of St. Joseph's downtown for over 50 years.
"When you have a business that people have been going to for over 50 years it's tough, its a lot about the employees who need to provide for their families, but its also about the residents in this town," said Jim Ransom.
Jim Ransom said neighbors told him they saw vandals push the AC units away on skateboards Monday night.
"Saturday night customers mentioned that it was hot in there but the air conditioners were there, so apparently they went in Friday night and cut the lines, so the air conditioners were physically there, but they had cut the lines to release the freon to make them lighter," said Ransom.
Despite this recent act of vandalism in a string of incidents, Jim Ransom says his family will push to keep the decades-old family business alive.
"It's an iconic building, everybody knows about the Barbosas Castle, a lot of people from out of town fo there so we're going to do everything we can to get things going again," said Jim Ransom.
The Barbosa's East location is still open regular business hours.