“We are really lucky that no one was killed,” says Grand River Brewery owner after car crash through wall


JACKSON, MI – The gaping hole in the Grand River Brewery doesn’t slow the restaurant down.

Two hours after a car left the Louis Glick freeway and entered the building on Thursday evening, a construction crew was already at work, owner Justin Dalenberg said.

The driver of a silver Mercury was heading west on the Louis Glick Highway when the vehicle crossed the east lane, struck a curb, and passed through the wall of the Brewery, 117 W. Louis Glick Highway, at 21 599 hours on February 11, police said. .

Grand River Brewery badly damaged after car crash through wall

A manager was cleaning the floor about 20 minutes before the driver hit the outside wall of the barrel room, Dalenberg said. Employees usually gather in this room after a shift to have a beer and catch up, he said.

Fortunately, no one was in the room at the time of the crash, said Dalenberg.

“We are really lucky that no one was killed,” said Dalenberg. “It was really very lucky. We count our blessings. No one was hurt.

The damage does not affect the structural integrity of the building – as a former bus garage it can withstand a lot, said Dalenberg.

Several barrels of aging whiskey were the real victim, he said.

“We had some pretty fantastic whiskey in damaged barrels,” said Dalenberg. “That was the only real causation overall – other than the badly damaged building. It’s two years of aging through the window. It is a disappointment.

About 30 Mug Club cups were also destroyed. The club passed 1,600 members when the restaurant closed, so a new rack was built in the barrel room, Dalenberg said.

The cups will be replaced.

“We’re all silver-lined people, we’re optimistic,” Dalenberg said. “It happened. We’re going to get it fixed. We’re going to clean it up.

Repairs to the wall are expected to be completed within a week, Dalenberg said. With a busy Valentine’s Day weekend, the restaurant is trying to fix the room enough for people to dine there safely.

“We acted quickly,” said Dalenberg. “We have been closed for so long that we can no longer afford to lose any more income. We are full all weekend.

The damage is between $ 100,000 and $ 200,000 and a very good insurance plan will help with those repairs, Dalenberg said. A pair of roller garage doors will be installed where the wall was, he said. This way summer events can look fresh.

Local restaurants: Jackson’s Grand River Brewery prides itself on its craft food and drinks

Dalenberg said he is already looking forward to the brewery suite.

“We can’t wait to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day,” he said. “It’s our biggest day of the year and we missed it last year. This year we are going to blow up the doors.

The driver left skid marks on the road outside the brewery and restaurant, indicating speed was a factor in the crash, police said. The driver exited the car and got into a white Chrysler 200 before driving away, but police spoke to the owner of the abandoned car and said a 27-year-old man was a person of interest in the car. accident.

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