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Poke Bowl Sustains Major Damage After Car Crash

Recovery could take four to six weeks

The damage at Poke Bowl
The damage at Poke Bowl
Poke Bowl/Facebook
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

A University of Texas-Austin student who was allegedly driving while intoxicated crashed into West Campus restaurant Poke Bowl early Monday morning. Two campus police officers heard the crash at 2:22 a.m., and went to the scene, where they saw a car crashed right in the front of the poke restaurant.

A tipster shared UT Campus Watch’s email alert about the incident:

Officers observed that the vehicle was still occupied and the driver (a UT Student) was attempting to put the vehicle in reverse and leave the scene. Officers ordered the suspect to get out of the car but she persisted in her attempt to leave the scene. However, the structure of the restaurant had collapsed around the car preventing it from moving. The debris also prevented the doors from opening. One officer used his baton to break out a window to allow the driver to exit the vehicle. While the window was successfully opened, it proved to precarious to have the driver exit through it. Another officer, assisted by a security guard, at the risk of their own safety, moved debris from the passenger side of the vehicle and was able to safely extract the driver.

EMS determined the driver had minor injuries, and the cops suspected she was drunk. As they were taking her into custody, she yelled, “I’m a UT student! You can’t arrest me!,” according to the Campus Watch email.

Poke Bowl owner Tuan Nguyen received a phone call at 2:30 a.m. from the Austin Police Department. They told him, “There is a car inside your business and damaged almost everything from the outside to the kitchen,” he recounted to Eater.

Right now, Poke Bowl is closed, and Nguyen estimates that reconstruction will take anywhere from four to six weeks.

Poke Bowl

2828 Guadalupe Street, Austin, Texas 78705