Restaurant on 'cursed corner' in Central District suffers another blow

SEATTLE -- A restaurant on a corner in central Seattle that is considered to be "cursed" by many has suffered another blow.

The last two owners of restaurants housed in the building on 23rd and Union were shot to death. Now the owner of Med Mix is the victim of arson.

When Otman Bezzaz opened Med Mix kitchen, many neighbors were hopeful that the building's bad luck was over.

"The corner has been cursed but this place has been happening and people come here to eat," said Jana Pekaar.

People wondered who could revive this corner after the restaurant's past tragedies.

But early Monday morning, someone torched Bezzaz' business and word of the curse resurfaced.

"Ir's kind of sad what happened, maybe cursed" Pekaar said.

Surveillance cameras captured a masked and hooded person spray-paint the building next door. The vandal then pulls out a can of gas and sets fire to the back of Med Mix.

"Beyond criminal, criminals do for money this guy's doing it for pleasure," said Ian Eisenberg, the building's owner. "Sick to see that."

Eisenberg says it's at least $75,000 in damages.

"I think need to have one of the Smudge people come through and get rid of the curse, then we're set," he said.

Eisenberg says the corner isn't cursed -- he owns most of it, including the building that was spray-painted with references to Trayvon Martin and slain civil rights leader Edwin Pratt.

A mural of Pratt was painted over when Eisenberg bought the building.

"At first thought might have something with gentrification or racial animosity," Eisenberg said. "But there was another arson two blocks away within 24 hours of this arson."

Bezzas says he wonders why someone is connecting his business with Trayvon Martin's death, but says he will not let his restaurant remain vacant like it did for four years after past troubles.

"We have to do something -- it's not cursed," he said. "We're not in the Twilight Zone here."