Penelope’s Lil’ Café owner “dumbfounded” after car crashes into restaurant

No one was injured from the crash; owner estimates $12,000 in damages.


LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Imagine eating brunch at a cafe, when all of a sudden, a car comes careening into your booth.

That was the reality at Penelope’s Lil’ Café on Saturday morning. Around 11:30 a.m., restaurant owner Brenda Failor says a customer trying to park in front of the store mistakenly hit the accelerator instead of the brake and came crashing through the storefront window.

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Photo credit: Brenda Failor and Jessica Runge


“I was out front,” Failor said. “We had a full restaurant and I walked back, I was standing right in front and I watched the gentleman pull up to the front of the building and he was almost at a stop. Then, all of a sudden, he just took off at a very high, rapid speed, and I knew he was going to hit the building, and I screamed.”

Fortunately, neither the vehicle driver or any customers were injured during the accident, although several witnesses were in shock. Upon impact, a kitchen manager called 911 and the restaurant was evacuated. Failor estimates that the crash caused $12,000 in damages. She is in disbelief that something like this happened on the first day of business in the new year.

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Photo credit: Brenda Failor and Jessica Runge

“I can’t believe it’s the first day of the year that I get to open and this has happened,” Failor said. “It’s dumbfounding. After going through last year with the pandemic, and now I have this. All I can think about is how long I’m going to be closed, what’s going to happen.”

With the help of one of her customers, repairs are underway to the damaged part of the building. Failor says she expects to reopen for business on Monday.

Categories: Nebraska News