• Car slams into southeast Charlotte restaurant; 4th time business was struck

    By: Briana Harper

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A car smashed into a local café with customers inside Saturday afternoon in southeast Charlotte.

    No one was injured, but the owner told Channel 9 this wasn’t the first time.

    Lupie’s Café, on Monroe Road, has been crashed into three other times.

    [READ MORE: Driver smashes car into Lupie's Café, drives away]

    Each time, the owner said, there weren’t any injuries.

    However, each time left a mark on the business.

    In this most recent occurrence, customers and employees saw the car speeding down the hill before slamming into the restaurant.

    "It sounded like a bomb going off,” employee Justin Crouse said. “I never really experienced anything like that.”

    Crouse believes the driver hit water at the bridge and hydroplaned in the middle of a dreary, rainy day.

    "Customers all screamed and jumped, ran toward the front. Glass went flying,” Crouse said.

    "It was very traumatic. It was very loud,” restaurant manager Larkin Duran said.

    Owner Lupie Duran said in the previous three crashes, the business was closed. On Saturday, it was open when the car crashed into the building.

    "You never get used to it,” Duran said. “You're just happy that people didn't get hurt."

    Employees told Channel 9 that the continued crashes even have some customers returning.

    "Most people just find it as the quirkiness of the place,” Crouse said.

    The owner said that as a result of the crash, a part of the building frame will have to be redone and new glass put in. They are hoping to reopen sometime next week.

    "We'll rebuild. We’ll make it better,” Larkin Duran said.

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