Bob's Barksdale Restaurant in Cooper-Young closed after car strikes entryway

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Bob's Barksdale Restaurant, a decades-long fixture in Cooper-Young, is closing temporarily after a car struck the building amid a three-car collision on Sunday afternoon, June 26, 2022.
Bob's Barksdale Restaurant, a decades-long fixture in Cooper-Young, is closing temporarily after a car struck the building amid a three-car collision on Sunday afternoon, June 26, 2022.

Bob's Barksdale Restaurant, a decades-long fixture in Cooper-Young, is temporarily closed after a three-vehicle collision ended with the tail of a red Chevrolet Corvette in the building's entryway Sunday afternoon.

The crash at the intersection of Cooper Street and Courtland Place spared the inside of the restaurant and its guests, but sent one woman to the hospital with non-critical injuries, police said. Police are investigating and did not name any cause for the crash.

Beth Henry, the owner of the restaurant, was parking in the back lot after running an errand when she heard the crash.

"I knew it was the building," Henry said outside the restaurant Sunday afternoon. She took the restaurant over after her husband, Bob Henry, died in October 2014.

Bob's Barksdale Restaurant, a decades-long fixture in Cooper-Young, is closing temporarily after a car struck the building amid a three-car collision on Sunday afternoon, June 26, 2022.
Bob's Barksdale Restaurant, a decades-long fixture in Cooper-Young, is closing temporarily after a car struck the building amid a three-car collision on Sunday afternoon, June 26, 2022.

The car struck the entryway around 1:45 p.m. Sunday, police said. Anna Lane was riding in the passenger seat of a Range Rover as her mom, Susan Smith, drove south on the restaurant's side of Cooper Street toward Peabody Avenue.

In a text, Lane said she remembers seeing a "quick flash of bright red" before her mom slammed the car brakes and their airbags deployed. Both women left sore, but uninjured.

Thankfully, Henry said, the crash happened after the rush, when few people were inside. But one couple, visiting the restaurant for the first time, was seated in a window booth that backs up to the front door, which swung toward their seats when the car struck the building. They left the restaurant through the kitchen without injury.

"It wasn't exactly what they were expecting to have on a Sunday afternoon," Henry said.

Many of the customers at the restaurant, a classic greasy spoon, are regulars, representing a cross-section of Memphis and spanning generations. Henry was responding to messages from some of them, letting them know she and the other, many longtime, staffers, were alright. As she spoke, a tow truck pulled the red car forward, sending the orange Barksdale front door and pink sheets of insulation to the ground into a puddle of pulverized glass.

Bob's Barksdale Restaurant, a decades-long fixture in Cooper-Young, is closing temporarily after a car struck the building amid a three-car collision on Sunday afternoon, June 26, 2022.
Bob's Barksdale Restaurant, a decades-long fixture in Cooper-Young, is closing temporarily after a car struck the building amid a three-car collision on Sunday afternoon, June 26, 2022.

"It doesn't look quite as bad once the car's not in there anymore," Henry said, staring at the hole where the front door should have been.

The owner said she'll have to wait to reopen until the restaurant can be secured and rebuilt to codes. Henry is unsure how long the process could take.

Laura Testino covers education and children's issues for the Commercial Appeal. Reach her at laura.testino@commercialappeal.com or 901-512-3763. Find her on Twitter: @LDTestino

This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Bob's Barksdale Restaurant in Memphis closed after car hits entryway