Crime Scenes

When Cars Attack Restaurants: A Recent History

Photo: THR Buzz

Early Sunday morning, a yellow cab collided with a Jeep it was trying to swerve away from, hit two bicyclists, and then crashed into the window of the Bean in the East Village. The Daily News reports that a 71-year-old man was rushed to the hospital with neck and back injuries (four others were injured), and EV Grieve wonders if the coffee shop reopened too soon? In any case, it’s eerie timing: An elderly Florida driver was just nominated for a James Weird Award after she accidentally backed into a restaurant there. Actually, car crashes involving eateries aren’t all that weird. Perhaps you’ll recall these recent ones?

MARCH 2007
The Car: A woman had a leg spasm while driving a Honda Accord.
The Restaurant: A Popeye’s in Hamilton Heights
The Impact: “It was just cracking, like a big cracking,” a cashier told the Times. Four were injured, and “an unfinished meal of fried chicken sat amid the wreckage.”

The Car: A bike jumped the curb after it was cut off by a cab.
The Restaurant: Eatery
The Impact: “It was very scary, but it looked worse than it was,” the owner told the Post. Four were injured.

The Car: A Honda Pilot carrying a Haitian senator jumped the curb.
The Restaurant: Indus Valley
The Impact: “The car just came at us,” a waiter told the Daily News. “All the glass came flying. People were hiding under the tables.” It happened just a few blocks from where a car had crashed into Mama Mexico a couple of years prior.

MARCH 2009
The Car: A taxi cab jumped the curb.
The Restaurant: Mama’s Pizzeria
The Impact: “It didn’t have a full impact but it was enough of a crash to send my kids flying in the air,” a customer told the Post. Seven were injured.

MAY 2009
The Car: A Ferrari lost control as it was pursuing a Mercedes, during the filming of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
The Restaurant: The Sbarro in Times Square
The Impact: “Next thing you know it jumps the sidewalk and smashes the door,” a customer told the Post. “The manager just started freaking out and told everyone to get out.” Two were injured.

The Car: Honda Civic
The Restaurant: Joseph Leonard
The Impact: “Driver was a female,” Robert Sietsema told Runnin’ Scared. “She stepped out of the car and blacked out.”

The Car: Range Rover
The Restaurant: Gray’s Papaya
The Impact: “The staff kept serving, which was nice,” reported The Hollywood Reporter’s Buzz blog.

Taxi smashes into East Village coffee shop; five people injured [NYDN]
Did The Bean Reopen Too Soon? [EV Grieve]

When Cars Attack Restaurants: A Recent History