in Northbrook inadvertently became a drive-through Tuesday morning, when a woman behind the wheel of an SUV accidentally slammed her car straight through the front door and into the restaurant.
Employee Hugo Ochoa was preparing the Sanders Road store for opening when he noticed the woman driving back and forth slowly in front of the door, apparently attempting to park.
“Then there was a big noise,” he said. “I just backed up, fast.”
At approximately 9:52 a.m., the Honda CR-V slammed into the restaurant, knocking out the front door and several sheets of glass. Ochoa was standing a few feet from the door, at the other end of the counter. Neither he nor the driver of the car were injured, although Ochoa said he was shaken up by the incident.
“She said, ‘This is so embarrassing,’” he recalled.
Standing outside of his namesake restaurant later that morning, surveyed the damage. The metal frame of the door was lying on the floor in a pile of glass shards, and a fluorescent sign dangled from a wire, unlit.
“It sucks,” Kaplan said. “I was on my way over here with my fingers crossed, hoping the door wasn’t demolished.”
But, he said, he was grateful that the accident happened before normal business hours, and that nobody got hurt.
“One hour later and it could have been a lot worse,” he said.
At 11 a.m. — the time that Josh’s typically opens, police cars were just leaving the scene and a restoration expert was on hand to survey the damage. Kaplan said it was too soon to tell when he could expect to reopen.
“Hopefully within the next few days,” he said.
Regular customer Bob Lyman was also outside the store Tuesday morning. He said he was just driving by when he saw the damage.
“I come here all the time for lunch,” he said. “It’s devastating.”