Nazareth Restaurant opens to hugs

(WSYX-WTTE)

Friends and supporters hugged Hany Baransi as his Nazareth Restaurant & Deli opened its doors at 11 a.m. Friday. This, despite initial word that the popular eatery on Hamilton Road, near Morse Road, in northeast Columbus might close its doors forever. Baransi said Thursday that he was planning to return to Israel.

Baransi told ABC 6/FOX 28 Thursday that he needed time to think about what he is going to do next. His wife, who spoke to ABC 6/FOX 28's Steve Levine, said her husband need to process the aftermath of Feb. 11, when a man with machete came into the Nazareth and slashed four customers. Three were hospitalized and all are expected to recover.

At first, Baransi said wanted to close the restaurant. Now, it will say open under his wife's leadership. Whether Baransi will return to Israel remains unknown.

Investigators say the attacker was Mohamed Barry, who was shot and killed by Columbus police after he lunged at an officer with a machete in one hand and a knife in the other, police said. They are currently investigating any links to terrorism.

Since the attack, the restaurant doors have been flooded with notes and messages of support, expressing hope for Baransi to stay in Columbus.

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