Thieves struck at the Italian restaurant Colosseo, on Commonside, in Walkley, during the early hours of Monday, April 4, at around 2.30pm.
Manager Nertil Mustafa said two men, both wearing a mask, had broken a window to gain entry before stealing money and alcohol.
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“The guy who broke the window had an axe, you could see from CCTV,” he said.
“It’s shameful but what can you do? You can’t have a security guard there all night and even if you did they wouldn’t be safe confronting someone who has an axe.
“Our boss is going to put some shutters up to try to prevent any more break-ins.”
South Yorkshire Police said the break-in was reported just before 7.30am on Monday morning, and enquiries were ongoing.
Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting incident number 90 of April 4.