Wednesday, July 05, 2000

Attack doesn't faze new store owner

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The new owner of Beekman Market in Millvale has a familiar face.

        Kevin Aboud, 38, bought the busy little corner store at Beekman Street and Neyer Avenue — the same market he managed and co-owned before Randy and Mija Kim bought it in 1997.

        The Kims, however, were violently attacked at the store May 21 — which clinched their decision to sell the business and move to Texas, where one of their sons lives.

        Mr. Aboud, a Palestinian who also owns Kevin's Market in Winton Terrace, said sales negotiations had begun before the attack. Ownership of the market transferred to him June 23.

        “There's a lot of mixed feelings about them leaving,” Mr. Aboud said as he waited on customers Tuesday.

        “Some people were sad to see them go, but some people didn't like them. Some people don't like me,” he said. “You can't please everybody. You're always going to have that whenever you deal with the public.”

        A trio of young thugs beat Mr. Kim with a baseball bat and shot and pistol-whipped his wife. Mr. Aboud said such an attack could happen almost anywhere — so he doesn't feel unsafe at the market.

        “I like this store,” he said. “I get along with people.”

        He said a lot of customers re membered him from when he was manager. “It's basically the same faces,” Mr. Aboud said.

        The market bustled Tuesday with people buying Independence Day party fare — firecrackers, smoke bombs, soda pop, liquor and charcoal — just before the store's 6 p.m. closing.

        “It used to be busier than this,” Mr. Aboud said, promising to offer more variety at lower prices. He said the store's hours will be 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily except holidays and Sundays, when it will close at 6 p.m.

        Customer Anthony Horsley said he frequents the store and isn't frightened by the Kims' experience. “It's a nice store,” he said. “It's just that things happen.”


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