Tel Aviv bar reopens its doors after deadly terror attack

Less than a week ago, Alon Bakal and Shimon Ruimi were murdered in the Tel Aviv terror attack on New Year’s Day at the Simta Bar. Tonight (Wednesday), the bar reopened its doors, after being closed since the attack, and customers quickly filled up the seats.

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One of the bar’s owners, Dan Raichel, revealed that he and his partner debated when they should reopen the bar. They contemplated if they should wait until the end of the customary 7 days of mourning, out of respect for the 2 Israelis who were murdered in the bar, noting that one of them, Alon Bakal, was a manager at the bar, or reopen it as soon as possible, in order to show the public that life goes on and terror will never prevail.

In the end, they decided to reopen the bar tonight. This evening wasn’t a usual night with loud music, partiers and voices of laughter and happiness. On a table in the bar, the pictures of Bakal and Ruimi were places next to yahrzeit candles and low music played in the background. The night was dedicated to the memory of Bakal and Ruimi, as the crowd sang songs as a way to pay their respects.

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“I passed by the bar and saw it was open, I felt that I had to come in and by a beer to identify with everyone,” said Rachael. “I don’t even like beer but I bought a cup in order to support the bar so that it can continue to operate and show that life continues, despite the pain.”

Another guest tonight at the Simta Bar was Tel Aviv Mayor Huldai, who also came to support the bar’s employees and the friends of Bakal and Ruimi. “I came here to identify with those who are hurting, encourage them, and tell them- we stand with you!”

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“The terror attack was here, in Tel Aviv, but the funerals were in Karmiel and Ofakim. Tel Aviv residents aren’t different from other residents in Israel,” he stressed.