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Car crashes into restaurant patio on Hertel Avenue

Forget about a glowing restaurant review to attest to good food.

Shortly before the lunchtime rush Tuesday at Kostas Family Restaurant, a popular Hertel Avenue location, a 90-year-old Williamsville woman lost control of her car and crashed into the west side of the framed-in patio section of the restaurant.

Diners, though, continued working their knives and forks as they plowed through their lunches and the restaurant kept on cooking, according to Kosta Pozantidis, who has owned and operated the business, which specializes in Greek and American food, for 38 years. “Thank God there were no customers on that side of the patio,” Pozantidis said. “There were customers but they were in a different area and they kept on eating.”

The crash occurred at about 11:40 a.m. with the car, a black Honda sedan, slamming into a side glass wall, but by late afternoon, sheets of plywood sealed off the damaged area of the restaurant at 1561 Hertel.

“The plywood is only temporary. We’ll be fixing the damaged area completely as soon as possible,” Pozantidis said.

Buffalo firefighters had responded to the scene and provided first aid until the woman was transported by ambulance to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital in Amherst, authorities said.

Northwest District Chief Anthony J. Barba said the woman, who was not charged, accidentally hit the gas pedal. “She pressed the gas pedal instead of the brake,” Barba said. “She had only minor injuries and was being treated at the hospital.”

A city building inspector, the chief added, was called to the scene and determined that the impact of the vehicle had not compromised the structural integrity of the building.

As of late Tuesday, Pozantidis said, business was brisk.