While they count the lucky stars that nobody was injured, the Black Rooster Roadhouse on Sixth Avenue had an interesting conversation piece in place on Monday evening.
A little after ten pm a vehicle went off the road on sixth and landed squarely through the front window of the cafe and bed and breakfast location.
For the moment it's a bit of unwanted renovations required, hopefully to be completed before next months All native Basketball Tournament, a particularly profitable period of time for the roadhouse.
Thursday's Daily News had some of the details of Monday's near miss.
Tragedy was seconds away: owner
By Kris Schumacher
The Daily News
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Pages one and three
People in the Black Rooster Roadhouse narrowly avoided serious injury Monday night when a vehicle plowed through the front of the building.
Just after 10 p.m. a vehicle went off the road and through the front wall of building, sending glass and debris all over the front lobby and startling everyone inside.
Black Rooster owner Stan Sliwa was not present when the incident occurred, but he knows that those inside were very lucky.
"There was actually a couple sitting right beside the window, and they left their seat like 30 seconds before it happened," said Sliwa. "The guy was walking up the stairs when he heard the noise and turned around to see this car sitting right there. It could have been really disastrous, but I'm just glad nobody got injured."
Those lodgers weren’t the only ones blessed with good fortune. Although the damage to the front wall of the Black Rooster is fairly extensive, things would have been much worse if the vehicle’s impact had been any harder or the direction altered slightly.
“There was a lot of concern because a main structural post was moved six or eight inches,” said Silwa. “On Monday night, I put a temporary steel post up just in case, and right now we’re putting that main post back into place. A couple more inches and the building would have collapsed.”
It did take several hours of work, but by 3 a.m. on Tuesday morning the whole front of the Black Rooster had been boarded up to secure the building until an insurance agent from Smithers arrives to inspect the damage. The situation is especially frustrating to the Sliwas because they spent a good deal of money refurbishing the place from it’s previous dilapidated condition, in order to bring it to its current highly regarded state and get it open for business in 2005.
“The whole front has to be redone, but at least we have everything under control right now,” said Sliwa. “We have a few people staying at the back of the building, but we won’t be able to open the café. We have the All Native Tournament coming and we’re fully booked for that week, so hopefully everything will be usable inside at least by then.”
Further information regarding exactly how the vehicle came to rest in the wall of the building was not available yesterday, but road conditions were particularly poor and ice may have been a factor.