Pappous Greek Kitchen: Driver crashes into Yorktown restaurant

YORKTOWN ― It could have been a lot worse.

That's how Rui Cunha sees it after a woman drove her car into his Yorktown restaurant on Thursday afternoon.

The woman's Jeep smashed through a wall on the side of Pappous Greek Kitchen at 1983 Commerce St. Cunha said more than 20 people were in the restaurant at the time, but no one was injured.

"It could have been a lot, lot worse," he said Friday. "Walls can be fixed. Ten minutes prior there was a table of four in the impact zone."

The crash occurred around 3:30 p.m., which Cunha said "is usually the lull but we were busy at that time." He said he was at a doctor's office nearby, getting his yearly physical, when he received a call about the crash, then hustled to the restaurant.

A driver crashed into Pappous Greek Kitchen in Yorktown on Nov. 10, 2022.
A driver crashed into Pappous Greek Kitchen in Yorktown on Nov. 10, 2022.

"When I got here yesterday there was a gentleman pulling up and I said we’re closed. He said I just wanted to come here and hug my waitress," Cunha said. "He wanted to sit there with his newborn baby and his wife. She (the waitress) recommended the front of the restaurant in the corner nook. He ended up sitting where she recommended, and if he was at that table, him and his family would not be here today."

The driver was in the neighboring parking lot for Chase Bank, which sits several feet higher than the Pappous property.

"The lady who was in the car, I approached her," Cunha said. "She was sitting down. I asked if she wanted a bottle of water, she’s like no thank you. Then she looked at me, she goes, are you the owner? I said yes I am. Then she started crying. I go, see that wall, see that car? They can both be fixed. I go, no one got hurt. That’s what you need to be grateful for. That’s nothing."

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It's unclear how the woman ended up driving from the Chase lot, down a small grassy embankment and into Pappous. Yorktown police could not immediately be reached for information.

It's the second time that a car has careened from the Chase lot onto the Pappous property, Cunha said. About four months ago a driver ended up down the embankment, destroying a Pappous picnic table, he said.

"I think Chase is working on putting some type of wall, pylons," he said, "because twice in four months …"

Pappous Greek Kitchen on Commerce Street in Yorktown.
Pappous Greek Kitchen on Commerce Street in Yorktown.

Chase officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The crash has forced Pappous to shut down dine-in service for now while it awaits repairs, but it is offering takeout.

"A good percentage of our business is takeout," Cunha said. "We’re expecting an insane amount of takeout. The community in general is just amazing. I know we're going to be extremely busy, because our normal takeout on a Friday night is busy, and with all the press going on, so we’re just going to try not to disappoint people, but we won’t be able to handle everybody."

The Yorktown Building Department assessed the scene Thursday and will return Monday for another look, Cunha said.

"I was told that if Monday they give the OK as far as it’s structurally sound, the guys will start working Monday to build it up," he said, with a potential reopening a week later.

Matt Spillane covers breaking news throughout the Hudson Valley. Click here for his latest stories. Follow him on Twitter @MattSpillane. Check out our latest subscription offers here.

This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: Pappous Yorktown crash: Driver crashes into Greek restaurant