Just one day before this weekend's First Friday celebration, Welcome Diner was hit and partially destroyed by a car and truck that rocketed toward the local eatery after colliding with each other at the corner of 10th Street and Roosevelt in downtown Phoenix.
Fidel Contreras, an artist who works at the Art House directly behind Welcome Diner saw the two cars slam into each other their resulting collision with the fence and tables outside just outside the diner. While the outdoor area is in desperate need of repair, the building itself miraculously remains untouched.
"The lady in the Honda was just like 'Are my kids alright? Are my kids alright?' and I was just like 'Yeah, they're fine, let me check on this other lady' and the little old lady in the truck was just so disoriented," said Contreras.
New Times found owner Robert Young, along with a few neighborhood kids and patrons who heard about the collision on Twitter, on the scene watching the two vehicles get towed away. Young relocated the Welcome Diner from Williams, Arizona to its current downtown Phoenix location in 1982 where it has stood without incident until tonight. The diner was originally located on US-66, he said, and remains one of the few "9 stool" diners left.
Young said he would begin cleaning up the property tomorrow but was not sure when Welcome Diner would be open for business. He does have plans to safeguard it against future collisions, however.
"The first thing I'm going to do is construct a wall. Like a wall in China," Young said. "This ain't gonna happen again."