Wine store begins reconstruction after car crashes into it

construction workers begin replacing the plywood with brick.
Construction workers begin replacing the plywood with brick.

A car crashing through the front entrance of a local winery may not have closed the doors, but the repairs to fix the damage have.

A customer smashed through Put a Cork In It on Park Hill Drive in early December of last year. The customer was said to be reaching for her purse as she was parked in front of the store. She accidentally pressed the gas, causing her to speed over the curb and into the building.

Construction began earlier in the week and has caused the store to temporarily close due to safety reasons. This is the first time the store has been closed in the three months that led up to the construction.

The day after the incident, the store’s owner Chris Keel opened up shop and went about his business as though nothing happened.

The car crashed through the front of the store.
The car crashed through the front of the store.

Some regulars didn’t notice anything wrong and instead thought a window was being changed, he said.

Keel also said the store has received support from everyone and the surrounding stores were very understanding during the construction.

“Even if business suffers a little bit it’s alright if he (Keel) gets his work done; neighbors look after each other,” said Jasmine Saleem, owner of the neighboring Park Hill Cafe.

The wine store owner echoed the sentiment.

“We would all do the same if it was another store or two,” Keel said.

Keel has tried to stay out of the financial aspect of the incident as much as he could, letting the landlord and the driver’s insurance take care of it. Though he continues to personally negotiate with the driver and their insurance company. After suffering minor ligament damage after the incident, Keel has needed several physical therapy sessions.

“It’s my problem but not my money,” Keel said with a bit of humor.

The driver was actually a regular of the store and a friend of the Keels. She has since been back and attended several wine tastings hosted by Put a Cork In It. The incident seems to have been forgiven.