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Hit and Run Driver Demolishes Highland Cafe on York Before Brazenly Escaping

Police are looking for a damaged pickup truck.

Highland Cafe, Highland Park
Highland Cafe, Highland Park
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.

Police are on the lookout for a late-80’s tan Ford pickup truck after a vehicle matching that description plowed through one of Highland Park’s most beloved coffee shops over the weekend, before backing up and taking off again.

The brazen late night getaway took out most of the interior of The Highland Cafe, situated right on the corner of busy York Boulevard and Avenue 50. The cafe has become a serious hangout for locals in the area, but luckily the crash occurred around 2 a.m. Sunday morning, so no one was inside.

ABC7 has video of the incident, which is pretty incredible to see if only for its brazenness. Security footage shows the late-model truck absolutely demolishing an exterior wall, tossing full sections of the bar and interior into the air. The truck then backs up, dislodges itself from the mess, and takes off, even apparently as bystanders looked on.

For a look at the aftermath, here's an Instagram shot taken by the Highland Cafe owners themselves. For what it's worth, they're promising to reopen, though there's no timetable at the moment.

Unfortunately, hit and run incidents seem to be on the rise in Highland Park (and across the city as a whole), with the neighborhood currently in the throes of
yet another pedestrian being hit in a crosswalk on Figueroa a few days ago. In both the Highland Cafe and crosswalk incident, police are searching for suspects.