AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Freebirds World Burrito restaurant in south Austin where an employee was stabbed to death earlier this month is donating 100% of sales on Wednesday to his family.
The restaurant on South Congress Avenue has been closed since Johnathan Aguilar was killed on Jan. 3.
It is reopening for the first time on Wednesday, and an employee at Freebirds confirmed to KXAN that all money raised from sales today will support the family of Aguilar, who was a father.
By lunchtime on Wednesday, there was a long line of customers at the restaurant, despite bad weather.
Many of them told KXAN that they were aware that proceeds from their meal would go to Aguilar’s family.
Celia Ortiz said she found out about the benefit on Facebook on Wednesday morning, and wanted to come out to support Aguilar’s family.
“I’m hoping that the community comes out to give strong support to them,” she said.
Ortiz said she was “in shock” when she heard about the attack as she works close by, and often walks to Freebirds for lunch. She described it as “devastating.”
Gonzalo Ponce also said he decided to eat lunch at Freebirds after hearing about where his money would be going.
“It’s better than having to give my money to a restaurant or cafeteria, this was a better thing to do, a better place to do it,” he said.
Freebirds released a statement on the restaurant’s reopening and the donations to Aguilar’s family:
Over the last few weeks, we have seen an incredible outpouring of support from our Tribe, Fanatics, and the community around us after a tragic event that happened at our South Congress location. We have been actively working with the family of Johnathan Aguilar, and have done a great deal to support them in their time of need, and we will continue to do so by donating 100% of the day’s sales from the South Congress location to his family when we officially reopen on Wednesday, January 22nd.Freebirds World Burrito
Aguilar, 34, worked as a kitchen manager at Freebirds and was opening the store with another manager when Dylan Woodburn entered on Jan. 3.
Woodburn, 27, became involved in an incident at the nearby Bennu coffee shop and ran to Freebirds, where he stabbed two people, including Aguilar.
Woodburn died in a hospital later that day.
After Aguilar’s death, his uncle, Esteban Aguilar Jr., described his nephew as a quiet, gentle soul who loved hard rock music.
“He was a kid who went to work, went home, took care of his son and his wife. A good kid, you know.”