A pleasant Sunday afternoon lunchtime was interrupted with a busted wall, flying tables and booths, and a shower of ketchup and mustard when a Ford pickup truck crashed into the dining room of Eaton Rapids Craft Co. Customers and staff were noticeably disturbed, but fortunately no one was injured during the accident.
The chaos began when the driver of the truck reportedly opened his door and proceeded to exit the still moving vehicle while driving up on the north bound turn on Main Street. Upon exiting the driver’s seat his passenger attempted to take control of the truck, which was moving approximately 50 miles per hour. The truck reportedly took air on the curb, lost momentum after hitting a customer’s vehicle, and then crashed into the dining room. Drugs were reportedly a contributing factor in the accident.
There were only two customers in the dining room of the restaurant when the accident occurred. The customers are unharmed, according to restaurant owner, Arby Schleman. The dining room customers are apparently lucky to have walked away from the accident. Had the parked vehicle just outside the dining room not broken the momentum of the truck it could have been a tragic day. The kitchen and bar areas were unaffected by the accident, save for a tremendous sound that filled the whole building.
Upon reflection, Arby noted there’s little more he and the staff can do at this point but fix the wall and have a good laugh. It’s been a rough year for the restaurant, to say the least. After a re-opening in September of 2016, a tragic incident with a head chef, the parting of ways with other chefs and staff, Arby and his crew feel fairly resilient to any future problems.
“We’re going to have fun with it and make it a tourist attraction,” said Arby jokingly. He believes in the future they may have a mural or some framed pictures to commemorate the accident. The days following the accident there was a whiteboard by the front door, which read, “Not a drive-through!”
“When life hands you lemonade, you make margaritas at this joint,” Arby continued to joke. “You deal with it and it’s another day.”
Joking aside, Arby is grateful for the loyal customers and fellow business owners in town who have expressed their concern and support. He is likewise thankful the customers and staff were unharmed during the accident. The wall is now temporarily patched, and the restaurant is reopened.
Eaton Rapids Craft Co. has shown anew every few months since its opening that it is a resilient establishment in the Eaton Rapids community. The ability to take each challenge in stride with a lighthearted attitude and readiness to adjust has become a necessity, and indeed may be a qualification on a hiring application at this point. Readers are encouraged to stop by the one of a kind restaurant, get to know the owners and staff, and eat some quality food while listening to the crazy stories of Craft Co.’s first year in Eaton Rapids.
Readers are likewise encouraged to be attentive while driving. It doesn’t take consumption of drugs to cause an accident. Diverting attention for a split second to a phone, a radio, or otherwise can have immediate and dramatic consequences, which can harm those in the vehicle, another vehicle, pedestrians, and even people in buildings.