WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KTVU)— The owner of a Teleferic Barcelona, a restaurant in Walnut Creek, splits his time between Barcelona and the Bay Area.
The management team and several employees come from Barcelona and still have family there.
"Everything that's happening here is related to our culture. It's not only about food, it's about the way we live," says Oscar Cabezas, the executive chef.
He says the restaurant with its one United States location in Walnut Creek and two in Barcelona and one in the nearby village of Sant Cugat, is the embodiment of Spanish cuisine.
Cabezas says the enjoyment of food is a large part of the culture. He says the terrorists are attacking the Spanish people's love of life.
"It was crazy. It was a panic attack for everyone," says Xavi Padrosa, the owner.
He spoke with KTVU via Facetime from Barcelona.
He's overseeing the three restaurants he and his sister own in his homeland.
Padrosa shared with us cell phone video that he and others took.
Xavi says he was working at his restaurant just two blocks away when a terrorist drove a vehicle into pedestrians along busy Las Ramblas.
"There was screaming and people running and running and looking all over the place. It was scary," says Xavi. “All the streets are closed. We cannot get on the freeways. You have to walk all over now."
Manager and hostess Laura Bas says her entire family lives in Barcelona.
"I am in shock. I am here. I'm far away from my family and friends. I'm very sensitive if something happens to them. I'm not around," says Bas.
She says she learned about the attack from text messages sent by her relatives.
She called them and was relieved to learn everyone is in shock but uninjured.
Her sister owns a clothing store near the scene of the attack.
"She's just one block away, so she had to close her shop. People were running and they get into the shop.
They close the shop. No one can leave the shop unless the police say so," says Bas.
The workers of Teleferic say they've received words of support from regular patrons.
"The folks we've met here have always treated us amazingly. We're here so we can give back a little bit," says Gary Cribb of Danville.
The restaurant workers say the Spanish people refuse to allow the terrorists to change their way of life.
"The culture is something we have in our hearts, in our souls, so I'm sorry for them. They can try 100 times.
We're going to cry, but they're not going to beat our hearts," says Cabezas.
The Spanish people say they do not want the image of Barcelona to be the one tarnished by terrorists.
They describe it as a beautiful city that embraces all people.