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Santa Monica's Cafe de Paris Goes Up in Flames Following Car Crash

Serious renovations to come.

Cafe de Paris, Santa Monica
Cafe de Paris, Santa Monica
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

A crazy scene unfolded yesterday in Santa Monica after a car slammed into the back of Cafe de Paris on Montana Avenue, sparking a large fire. The scary moment happened around 8:30 a.m., according to LAist, leaving a gaping hole in the roof where tall flames could be seen escaping. The casual coffee shop and bakery had only just opened for the day. No one was hurt, though one employee was shaken up pretty badly and had to be taken to the hospital.

According to firefighters on the scene, the car managed to strike a gas line in the back wall, which ignited the car and quickly the restaurant. It took about an hour to quell the blaze, with the car — which had entered the rear of the building head-on — still stuck in the wall.

No word on when Cafe de Paris will manage to return, but it’s likely to be a while. This is the second gas line fire to strike Santa Monica in the last few months (though the first involving a car), as noted Westside restaurant Tar & Roses remains down for the count following a gas-related kitchen fire.