Car Crashes Into Robbins Restaurant, No One Injured
The joke around Robbins last week was the town’s “new drive-in restaurant.”
Carolina Fried Chicken on Middleton Street had a surprise visitor Thursday night when a woman who’d just left with a cheeseburger returned unexpectedly. Her bright red pickup came crashing through the front wall.
“She’d stopped for another vehicle coming into the parking lot,” owner Pete Kakouras said. “Then she thought she was shifting into reverse, but got drive by mistake. When she hit the gas, in she came.”
The truck demolished the front window and the brick wall beneath it before coming to a stop halfway into the restaurant. It narrowly missed a steel support pillar and doorway, passing between the two.
Waiters and patrons alike jumped at the noisy crash, then swarmed about the truck to check on the driver.
“She said she wasn’t hurt,” said Myra Lopez, a North Moore senior who has worked there about a year. “She just sat there in the truck. She was eating her cheeseburger.”
People were scared, she said. They didn’t know what was going on.
“Everybody’s been kidding us about it,” Lopez said. “Nobody was hurt or anything. I was working on some cheese fries when I heard it. It was scary, but it was all right.”
No charges were filed. Kakouras said things were being handled in the old Robbins way. Employees nailed plywood sheets to cover the hole in the wall, and Carolina Fried Chicken never had to close.
A team of neighbors showed up Saturday afternoon to begin repairs. One was a bricklayer. By Sunday afternoon, the brick wall was back, and the door frame was straightened. All that remained to indicate any damage had ever occurred was a single crack in a plant pot — and plywood covering windows waiting for new glass.
“It’s a two-way street,” Kakouras said. “We have been there 17 years, and the people have been great. We take care of them, and they take care of us. We didn’t worry about calling insurance companies, not in Robbins. Her son works with the fire department. He said he’d take care of it, so I knew he would.”
That volunteer spirit is at the heart of Robbins, according to this Greek who settled there and opened his family restaurant. Now he has a new one — Pete’s in Carthage. One son works there, and another at the old original Robbins place.
“Robbins people can do whatever they want to do,” he said. “They could fix up that old theater — just get volunteers, and they’ll show up and go to work.”
Contact John Chappell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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