Community supports Largo business after sign vandalized by suspected DUI driver

Largo, Fla. (WFLA) — This sign grabs your attention from the road despite — or maybe because of — its dilapidated appearance. The words “Frida’s Cafe & Bakery” are crooked and the LED lights are off.

“It’s scary to think about,” said Alex Mencarini. “Probably when the customer is here, anyone is here.”

According to Largo police, resident Garry McCue drove his car the wrong way on Ulmerton Road and crashed into the large sign. He was charged with DUI and a suspended driver’s license.

“I was in awe. It felt fake,” Mencarini said. “Looking at that sign every day, you wouldn’t think something like this was going to happen. It’s crazy.”

Thankfully, the accident happened late Thursday night, long after most people had left.

“It speaks for itself,” Mencarini said. “Really, honestly.”

Indeed. Barista Alex Mencarini met him for the first time on Friday afternoon. What he saw was a tattered signboard, bent metal and computer parts scattered on the floor. The car left several shards of glass and some lights on the grass, as well as what appeared to be brake marks.

Speechless. Very speechless,” Mencarini said. “I immediately pulled out my phone. It’s just – I need to take a photo of it while it’s still – it’s crazy. very crazy.

But Sunday night, 8 On Your Side was there, a crane hoisted the sign, a man welded it back into shape, and sparks flew in the flaming sunset of the Largo sky. That – actually – large paper weight was bent back into its original shape and is now a logo. Still no LEDs though. It may take several months for the new logo to take its place.

This weekend, the Largo community came to this popular restaurant.

“It was packed,” Mencarini said. “There wasn’t a single space available. The community was just — everyone was showing love and coming in to support us.”

Even Frida herself made the most of the difficult situation.

“She said, ‘Yeah, you should go make a TikTok, take it lightly, and do something good,'” Mencarini recalled. “I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s great, glad you feel that way. It’s so refreshing to hear that.'”

Frida’s Cafe & Bakery remains fully open and operating as normal. They close early on Christmas Eve and close on Christmas Day.

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