Three years ago on January 29, 2016, Nate and Cleo Pendleton received the worst news any parent could have ever gotten that their child was a victim of a shooting on the harsh streets of Chicago. After having been giving the opportunity to perform at the Inauguration of the President of the United States, Barack Obama, Hadiya’s life was tragically cut short in a drive by at a local park not far from where she attended high school.
The death of a child is a parent’s worst nightmare and for parents Nate and Cleo Pendleton, they are continuing to cope and deal with the loss of their daughter. On this 3rd anniversary of Hadiya’s death comes a celebration. Hadiya’s father Nate whose occupation as a chef now restaurateur celebrated the opening of The Next Level Restaurant located at 2544 E. 83rd St in the South Chicago area. On the date of what has been a somber day of remembrance has been turned around.
Read more as reported by the Chicago Tribune:
Three years after the shooting death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, her father wanted Jan. 29 to represent something positive. Chef Nate Pendleton opened “The Next Level” at 2544 E. 83rd St. in the city’s South Chicago neighborhood after following his long-time dream of opening a restaurant.
“I wanted to bring good, home food to our neighborhood,” said Pendleton.
Friday’s grand opening coincided with the third anniversary of the death of Pendleton’s daughter, Hadiya. The teen was the unintended target of gun violence, shot and killed blocks from her high school and just one week after performing at the White House during President Obama’s second inauguration.
Three years after the shooting death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, her father wanted Jan. 29 to represent something positive. Chef Nate Pendleton opened a new restaurant, coinciding with the anniversary of his daughter’s death. NBC 5’s LeeAnn Trotter reports.
“She loved macaroni and cheese, loved it,” said Pendleton. “So I do a macaroni and cheese here to order, and I think my community will like it.”
Pendleton invited others who have also lost family members to gun violence to have dinner at his restaurant during grand opening night.
“They’re my new family,” said Pendleton. “We all in a fraternity that nobody wants to join.”
The Pendleton’s also held a balloon release Friday night in honor of Hadiya.
“It does not get any easier as the days go along,” Hadiya’s father Cleo Pendleton said.
“Every time I think about it, I almost start tearing, this is going to be a happy day,” said father Nate Pendleton.
The community took note of the strength the family.
“It just shows you their class,” said customer Jerome Hoskins, referring to the Pendleton family. “Through all the struggles through all the violence that’s going on in the city, you still can push forward and keep your head up high.”
The restaurant’s sign currently reads “The New Look,” but Pendleton plans to change it to read “The Next Level.”
“As we find ourselves angry about what’s happened to us, rather than just be a victim of that, we’re going to harness that and control what happens next,” Cleo Pendleton said.
Source: Chicago Tribune