There is never a good time to have a vehicle crash into your business, but for Schwabl’s restaurant, this was the worst possible time.
“This is our busiest time of the year. This is the most horrible thing to have happen now,” owner Cheryl Staychock said Monday, while the noise of vacuums roared in the background.
Staff members were cleaning up the mess after an elderly woman crashed a small SUV into the side of the building after careening out of control while going through the nearby Union Road intersection in West Seneca at about 11:30 a.m.
The impact was so loud, some inside thought the gas lines to the steam table had exploded.
“Thank God, we are all OK, and there were no customers here yet,” Staychock said. “It hit right into the side with our steam table and knocked everything across the room. It hit a radiator that takes five men to move and knocked that into the room.”
Staychock said the driver, who she was told was 90 years old, was able to get out of her vehicle herself and was taken by ambulance to Mercy Hospital. Her condition has not been disclosed, and no charges have been filed.
The crash knocked the building so hard that a window box flew off the opposite side, and caused significant damage to the interior and the foundation, Staychock said.
The restaurant will be closed for at least two weeks, she estimated.
That is bad news for many Western New Yorkers and “natives” returning for the holidays who rank Schwabl’s beef on weck among the best in the area.
“Right now we’re cleaning up and trying to get rid of all the food we had cooked for the day, sending it home with people so it doesn’t go to waste,” she said Monday afternoon.