The tenants of the building at 21st and Folsom were awoken Monday morning by the deafening sound of windows shattering when a car crashed into Joey & Pat’s Italian Bakery on the bottom floor. Later that morning, they looked on at the abandoned Lexus sticking into the building’s storefront. Damage appeared severe, with windows smashed, part of the foundation uprooted, and the building’s entire corner cleaved in two.
All of the tenants will have to move out, the insurance agent said.
Though the two officers on the scene could not confirm the details of the incident they did say that the car crashed into the storefront at roughly 2 a.m. this morning and the car’s drivers, described only as two women, took off on foot and have not been apprehended.
“The pole that supports part of the building is a safety concern,” said Johnny Nava, an insurance specialist with Farmers Insurance Group, who was evaluating the damage this morning. “All tenants have to move out to make sure they are safe until it’s cleaned up and looked at structurally. We will send contractors [to assess damage]”.
When asked about the relocation of tenants, Nava said he is unclear, as they still have to figure out how things will get repaired, but that they will assume responsibility and will provide the owner and tenants resources.
The bakery Joey and Pat’s has been in business for the past three years. The bakers start preparing to bake during the early morning, although they were not there when the crash happened. Only two blocks away from there on South Van Ness, two people died when a car crashed into the liquor store on the corner of 21st and South Van Ness in January.
Officer Jason Acosta said that there were no eyewitnesses to the incident and no leads on who the perpetrators might be. “The Hit and Run Detail will run the plates and we’ll find out more then,” Acosta said.
At 9:30 a.m. today, building inspector Brett Howard instructed the building’s owner Edward Schmitt to leave the Lexus until the affected corner of the building could be shored up. Removing the car prematurely could cause severe damage.
“Earlier, we heard cracks like it was coming down, so we’re shoring it up right now,” said Schmitt, who has owned the building for 10 years.
Workers were soon on scene placing beams around the car to bear the building’s weight. The Lexus should be removed later today. The second-floor tenants above Joey & Pat’s, a family of seven, did not have to evacuate but were instructed to stay out of the front part of their unit.
Numerous passersby expressed sadness for the unfortunate bakery on the corner. One woman who had plans to pick up a birthday cake was sad to see the bakery closed and in such a state.
“What a poor guy, this is such bad luck,” said the woman of the bakery’s owner. “I love coming in here, he’s always very personable.”