Owner of popular East Charlotte restaurant weighs options after car crashes into their business for the 4th time

Lupie's Cafe
Lupie's Cafe(Source: WBTV)
Published: Jan. 21, 2019 at 6:40 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - For the fourth time, a car crashed into a popular East Charlotte restaurant leaving behind damage and forced the business to temporarily close.

A car crashed into Lupie’s Cafe on Monroe over the weekend and took out the front of the building.

“It sounded like a bomb went off. It was very loud. Very chaotic,” said Larkin Duran, the manager of Lupie’s Cafe and the daughter of the owner. “After this time, we are definitely going to put in some concrete posts out there.”

No one was injured including the driver, but this is the 4th time a vehicle has crashed into the Cafe.

“This is ridiculous having to live with that fear of this happening,” said Lupie Duran, the owner of the restaurant.

There is rock and stone work out in front of the building already.

“The purpose of having that is to prevent something like this from happening,” said Duran. “There obviously needs to be more.”

The owner and employees believe that drivers may go too fast on Monroe Road and then have a difficult time making the turn before running into their building.

“They come flying up and down the hill,” said Duran. “I have gone to the city before.”

Lupie and her daughter would like to see the city place a flashing light near their business or at least work on more signage in the area warning drivers.

Lupie’s Cafe has been around since 1987, and the response after the crash has been huge.

“My phone has just been blowing up with people that have been calling and wanting to help,” said Larkin Duran.

Loyal customers took to social media to show their support offering to “host Meatloaf Monday at my house,” and wishing quick repairs to “their favorite restaurant in Charlotte.”

“I mean look around, it is not your ordinary kind of walk in place,” said Duran.

The plan is to put concrete barriers up in front of the business, but the owner says she would also like the city to get involved. She hopes a flashing light or more signage can be considered.

Emily Miller is a loyal customer and good friend of the family that owns Lupie’s Cafe.

“Me and my husband got engaged here. We actually just had a baby shower here,” said Miller.

She has started a GoFundMe to help the family with repairs and money to provide compensation for employees while they are out of business.

“As a fellow small business owner, I know it is hard to recoup those losses if you have to close your business down for a few days,” said Miller.

The repairs will be completed this week and then Lupie’s will reopen.

“We have been here so long, I mean, we are not going anywhere,” said Larkin Duran.

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