Lori Elahmad was outside the Windsor restaurant she just opened with her husband, taking a break from the Saturday dinner rush right around 8:15 p.m. when a frantic employee came outside to tell her a car had just plowed through the restaurant’s front doors, hitting two employees.

“Everyone’s a little shaken up right now,” she said, surveying the damage inside Lot 88, the American eatery the pair opened on Aug. 28 after months of remodeling what was previously a Johnny Garlic’s outpost. “I’m trying to keep it together for all the employees.”

About 40 people were inside the restaurant when a gold Toyota Avalon, with four people inside, crashed into the building, which is separated from a parking lot by a wide sidewalk.

A news release from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said the male driver pushed the gas instead of the brake while attempting to park in front of the restaurant. Drugs and alcohol were not a factor in the crash, the Sheriff’s Office said.

In addition to the employees, who had some “bumps and bruises,” a man at the bar was hit by some debris, she said. No other injuries were reported, and no one was taken to the hospital, according to a Redcom dispatcher.

“This is just my luck right now,” she said. “We just got everything up and running, and everything was going pretty well.”

The restaurant is the first for Elahmad and her husband.

You can reach Staff Writer Christi Warren at 707-521-5205.

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