Not a drive thru: Car goes through Denver restaurant for third time this year

DENVER — The third time was not the charm at The Hornet restaurant on 1st and Broadway.

The popular Denver restaurant was hit by a car... again.

Early Saturday morning, a car slammed into The Hornet on Broadway, causing several thousand dollars worth of damage. Nobody was hurt. The car went "right between the light post and the planter and proceeded right through our store front," said owner Sean Workman. 

Workman showed Denver7 the boarded up windows after a BMW plowed into The Hornet Saturday morning — the third time the restaurant has been hit by a vehicle this year — and the second incident in two weeks.

“I thought they were joking,” Workman said after getting the call about the crash.

Surveillance video from 2:16 a.m. shows bartender Kevin Clyde walk out of the way moments before impact.

“I was standing where the car hit and as I walked away, the car entered the building,” Clyde said. “Sounded like a complete explosion. Something that will stick with you the rest of your life.”

Clyde said three young females and a young male driver ran from the scene.

“If I had just even hesitated, my life would not exist," he said. 

He said the driver, who was arrested after being stopped a few doors down by another business owner, did not appear sober. 

Clyde said he has little sympathy for the person who nearly ended his life. 

“He made the choice to do this," he said. "That affects a lot more people than him. I wish he was thinking beyond himself before he stepped behind the wheel."

Workman said the city installed concrete barriers around The Hornet after previous incidents, but somehow the car crashed through. He said this latest crash caused about $60,000 worth of damage.

Now, his staff is working hard to keep the building open during the busy holiday season.

“Come help out our staff," Workman said. "We lost 40 percent of our seats. It's a loss of income for a lot of our staff."

And as The Hornet employees like Clyde count their blessings, Workman has a message for drivers near his restaurant.

“Slow down — slow down on Broadway. It's a pedestrian area," he said. "More importantly, we don't want to see anybody hurt.”

Denver police said the driver is being held on suspicion of DUI. His name has not been released.

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