Two patrons of Bed-Stuy’s the Civil Service Cafe were seriously injured Thursday morning when a car jumped the curb and smashed through the shop’s plate-glass window, according to firefighters and witnesses of the crash.
The driver was headed south on Nostrand Avenue just before 8:40 a.m. when he apparently lost control and plowed his silver Dodge Challenger into the cafe, located at 279 Nostrand Ave, at the corner of Clifton Place, police said.
Two of the patrons, one inside and one outside, were brought to Brooklyn Methodist Hospital with serious injuries, and emergency responders transported the driver to Brooklyn Medical Center with minor injuries, FDNY officials said. One other pedestrian suffered a minor injury but refused medical attention.
A representative of Civil Service, who declined to give his name on the scene, said he couldn’t comment for liability reasons.
Civil Service, which opened in 2013 according to its Instagram, is a popular gathering spot in the neighborhood, frequently bustling with locals working on laptops and chatting on benches outside. It is known for its latte art and features high-tech coffee-brewing apparatuses, along with a rotating menu of salads and all-day breakfast fare.
Police are investigating whether whether the driver of the Challenger collided with another car before hitting the cafe, according to an NYPD spokesman, but one witness said he did not see another car in the course of the crash.
Mohammed Nagi, who was behind the counter at BK 99 Deli on the southeast corner of Nostrand and Clifton Place at the time of the crash, said he saw the driver speeding south on Nostrand slowing slightly for a yellow light at Clifton Place, and veering left, careening into the facade of Civil Service, according to Mohammed Nagi, 20.
From his perch in the deli, which offered a clear view of the crash site, Nagi, 20, said he saw the driver appear to yank the steering wheel just before crashing into the cafe.
“He was saying another car hit him, but no car hit him at all,” Nagi said.