Food service life prepares you for a lot of crazy shit. Passive aggressive interpersonal drama? Pretty much a prerequisite. Low-key abusive customers? Par for the course. Godawful smells from a woefully broken grease trap? Gag, but yes.
Unless we're talking delivery work, one does not typically have to add "bad drivers" to that list. At the Denver-based restaurant The Hornet, however, car crashes have become an all-too-common occurrence, with three instances this year alone.
This past Saturday, as Denver7 reported, a driver crashed through the windows and into the restaurant, narrowly avoiding customers and staff. That's apparently despite concrete barriers, which had been installed after previous crashes. The 19-year-old man has since been arrested on charges of careless driving and suspicion of DUI.
To make things weirder, this is the third time in 2018 that a reckless driver has sent a car through the glass siding of The Hornet. Why is this A Thing?
As restaurant owner Sean Workman told Fox31, "This year we are cursed." When MUNCHIES reached out to the restaurant for comment, we were told via Facebook Messenger, "We are a little pre occupied with repairs and getting our restaurant back to normal at the moment." (A winky face emoji was included.)
Despite damages estimated at $60,000, the restaurant is taking it in stride, remaining open and posting light-hearted updates to social media. The staff has become old pros at, well, this exact situation.
On Sunday, The Hornet's social media accounts shared an image of two people posing in front of the boarded-up restaurant. The statements "#parkingintherear" and "I assure you, we are open!!" have been spray-painted onto the boards.
That's pretty similar to a post from less than a month ago of yet another boarded window. That one read: "Again, not a drive-thru... #notadrivethru." According to 9News, that crash happened because a driver swerved to avoid another driver. It resulted in a pedestrian being hit but not seriously injured, reported Denverite.
The "again," of course, refers to February, when the first car crash happened and spurred the restaurant's first usage of the tongue-in-cheek "#notadrivethru." 9News called that incident the most dramatic, and quoted restaurant manager Misty Forde as saying, "A man just said there was someone in the car with him holding a gun to his head, sped out of control and went through the window."
But while the restaurant might be approaching the crashes with some social media levity, they're aware that the issue is more serious. "It’s scary, something has to be done to slow traffic down on this corridor," Workman, owner of the restaurant, told the Denver branch of Streetsblog, a national advocacy group for improving walking, biking, and transit conditions.
According to Streetsblog, the crashes at The Hornet are indicative of a larger crisis. "Denver has a public health epidemic, right now, with speeding and irresponsible driving," Piep van Heuven, Policy Director of Bicycle Colorado, told Streetsblog. "We can tell these stories on every major arterial in and around Denver."
And it's not just Denver, either. This happens pretty frequently throughout the country—a quick Google search shows crashes into restaurants in Nevada, California, Missouri, Michigan, and Oregon in just the past four days.