A van ran into Phebe’s Tavern & Grill on the corner of East Fourth Street and Bowery shortly before noon today, putting a dent in the side of the recently renovated bar and dislodging part of the wall.
“It sounded like a bomb going off,” said owner Ryan Birkenhead, who was in his office working when it happened. He ran upstairs, and with the help of some passersby, managed to smash the van’s window open to see if the driver was responsive. “All the airbags deployed,” he said. “The gentleman apparently had a seizure and ran off the side of the road.”
Bartenders Caitlin Condon and Gina Lisske were standing at the bar when they heard the crash. It was almost like a gunshot, they said. They called 911 before going out to check on the driver. “At first he was unconscious, then he woke up. He wasn’t really registering anything until the ambulance got there,” said Caitlin.
Business at Phebe’s will continue as usual, though it might be difficult to close the door for the next few hours.