SOUTHINGTON — Crews worked to repair a 12-foot hole in the side of Hop Haus Monday after a car crashed into the Plantsville pub for the second time in about six months.
In September, a car struck the building, causing damage that hasn’t been fully repaired yet.
In both incidents, a Volkswagen Jetta traveling west on Main Street drove through a vacant lot next to the pub and crashed into the building. The Saturday morning incident left a gaping hole.
“It’s a punch in the gut — first September, now this,” said executive chef Jakub Gorgon.
The restaurant, which was able to open Saturday night, lost the use of about 25 tables.
“We have to turn people down and wait for open tables,” he said.
Police Sgt. Jeffrey Dobratz said the accident happened around 4 a.m. The driver was issued an infraction. He was surprised that the two drivers missed turning with the road.
“If you’re not familiar with the area, the road does turn to the right a little bit,” Dobratz said.
Gorgon said the building owners were considering ways to keep cars from crashing into it.
John Smigel, chief building official, said there was “structural damage” to the building, which required repairs before it could open. While the car involved in September’s accident punched a hole clean through the building’s 12-inch brick wall, the slower speed of the car on Saturday caused more damage to the masonry.
“This one happened to hit in the side of the building in the rear corner,” Smigel said.
With help from area contractors, the building was shored up on Saturday in time for dinner. Hop Haus has been open since and is mostly unaffected, except for the closure of a back area for large parties.
“We were very lucky to open Saturday night,” Gorgon said.
The restaurant was closed for several days after the September accident while interior damage was repaired.
Cheryl Moran, an owner of the building according to state and town records, couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.