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Harry’s Coffee Shop tries to recover after car crashes into it

A car crashed into the rear of Harry's Coffee Shop on May 12, injuring three people.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

The owner of La Jolla’s popular Harry’s Coffee Shop is working this week to get the venerable establishment reopened after a car crashed into the restrooms and kitchen at the rear of the building May 12, injuring three people.

Owner John Rudolph said the extent of the damage and how long Harry’s would remain closed were still uncertain.

Three people were injured when a car crashed into the restrooms and kitchen at the rear of Harry’s Coffee Shop in La Jolla just before 10 a.m.

“We are doing our level best to get everything repaired and reopened as soon as possible. There is a crew working on repairs as we speak,” he said.

Rudolph said the reopening would be announced on Instagram. “In the meantime,” he said, “we are honored and inspired by all the support shown during this challenging time.”

Rudolph is the son of the late Harry Rudolph, who started the restaurant in 1960.

Two of the injured people, an older couple inside the car, were taken to a hospital. The extent of their injuries was unknown, according to Battalion Chief Erik Windsor of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

The third injured person, a kitchen employee, was standing at the sink washing dishes when the vehicle hit the wall just before 10 a.m., pushing the sink and other kitchen equipment into the employee. Windsor said the worker suffered minor bumps and bruises and declined to go a hospital and was instead treated at the scene and released.

A man driving this vehicle mistook the gas pedal for the brake, causing it to crash into the rear of Harry's Coffee Shop.
A man driving this vehicle mistook the gas pedal for the brake, causing it to crash into the rear of Harry’s Coffee Shop at 7545 Girard Ave., authorities said.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

The man driving the vehicle mistook the gas pedal for the brake, causing it to propel into the building at 7545 Girard Ave., Windsor said.

A GoFundMe campaign begun May 13 aims to raise $10,000 to help Harry’s with the cost of rebuilding and covering its employees’ lost wages. As of May 18, the campaign had raised $900. The page is at gofund.me/6bd39058.

Kelly Siegel, who moved to La Jolla in September and has never been to Harry’s, said she felt compelled to start the GoFundMe campaign as she put herself “in the shoes of the people working there. ... I think it was a bad situation for everyone involved, so I thought reaching out to our community would be a big help.” ◆