• Driver smashes car into Lupie's Café, drives away

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    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A restaurant that is a Charlotte staple is closed to customers after a driver crashed through it in the early hours of Thursday morning.

    The driver drove off after damaging Lupie’s Café sometime before 3 a.m., authorities said.

    Press Play to see the damage:
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    The owner told Channel 9 that it couldn't have happened at a worse time for her restaurant on Monroe Road.

    The covered front porch was smashed in, leaving major damage.

    Owner Guadalupe Duran said police came to her door in the middle of the night to tell her what happened.

    “It is my livelihood,” Duran said. “This is what I do.”
     
    Zakariya Azizy, 25, crashed his 1991 Volvo into the building, police said.

    He got a citation for hit-and-run.
     
    Duran is worried about losing money while being closed during the busiest time of the year, with the Southern Christmas Show only blocks away.
     
    “People who have a tradition come here to eat,” Duran said. “It’s going to mess a lot of things up for the Christmas show for us.”
     
    She isn't wasting any time feeling sorry for herself.
                                   
    “(The) next step is getting it cleaned up,” Duran said. “(We'll do) what needs to be done and (move) on with it.”

    She hopes to be back open within a week.

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