Former employee fundraising for family of La Ronge restauranteur

By Taylor MacPherson
April 20, 2017 - 2:00pm
Tributes have begun to collect outside Louisiana's Bar-B-Que in La Ronge.
Tributes have begun to collect outside Louisiana's Bar-B-Que in La Ronge. Bryan Eneas/paNOW Staff

In the wake of a tragic death, the community of La Ronge has come together in support of a grieving family.

Local restauranteur Simon Grant, 64, was attacked after hours at his business, Louisiana’s Bar-B-Que Saturday night. RCMP said three masked men entered the business carrying handguns and baseball bats, and attacked Grant before fleeing with cash. Grant was airlifted to Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon where he succumbed to his injuries Monday.

Kate Young, one of Grant’s former employees, has organized a crowdfunding campaign through GoFundMe to support Grant’s family and pay for his funeral expenses. Any leftover funds, Young said, will be used to support his daughter’s post-secondary education.

“My hope for the campaign is that we can just give back to Simon and his family because they’ve put a lot of work into the community these past 10 years,” Young said. “I feel like this is our chance as a community just to give back to them for all that they’ve done.”

Young, who worked at Louisiana’s for two years, remembered Grant as a man who loved to make the workday fun and created endless opportunities for local youth. Grant gave Young and her sister their first jobs, she said, and treated everyone like family to the point where his restaurant staff affectionately referred to themselves as the “Louisiana’s Fam.”

“Louisiana’s was my second home,” Young said. “To work for him, it wasn’t a job. You’d have such a great time because he treated you so well.”

When she learned of Grant’s death, Young said she was shocked and scared. Young said it took her a while to process the news before it felt real.

“To hear what had happened and how it had happened, it was just so scary,” Young said. “My little sister was there an hour before it happened and I’ve worked that shift a million times myself.”

Tributes and flowers for Grant have been piling up rapidly outside Louisiana’s, which Young said is a clear sign of the lasting impression Grant left on the town.

“The impact that he’s had on this community has been huge,” Young said. “He’s like an icon for La Ronge.”

A memorial service for Grant has also been organized. Friends, family and community members will gather at the Kikinahk Friendship Centre in La Ronge at 2:00 Monday to remember a man who loved to give back. After the service, Young said mourners are going to Louisiana’s to enjoy some food and ice cream.

“I think that’s really important, because I know it’s what Simon would want,” Young said.

RCMP still hunting for suspects

Yesterday La Ronge RCMP released surveillance photos of Grant’s suspected attackers, and asked anyone with information to come forward.

All three suspects wore black and covered their faces during the assault, but one of the men wore pants with the word “BLACK” written on the front in white lettering. RCMP said the trio was inside the business for less than five minutes, and noted the restaurant was closed at the time of the attack.

RCMP have asked anyone who was in the vicinity Saturday night or who may have witnessed suspicious activity to contact the La Ronge detachment or make an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers.

 

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On Twitter: @TMacPhersonNews

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