Oh no, Van Gogh’s! Popular NJ cafe asks for help after car smashes through
🚙 A vehicle plowed into an iconic cafe on Tuesday in downtown Union
☕ The coffee house first opened for business in the mid 90s
💳 Customers can support the cafe with purchases while repairs are made
UPDATE 3/27: Van Gogh's Ear Cafe has reopened for business — and is thanking customers for their continued support. "For 27 years we’ve been a home and chosen family for a lot of people and we’re not going anywhere!"
UNION TOWNSHIP (Union) — An iconic coffee shop was forced to close for extensive repairs, after a vehicle smashed into its front window on Tuesday.
Van Gogh's Ear Cafe, at 1017 Stuyvesant Ave., has given customers the best ways that they can support the business as they deal with the trail of damages.
There were no injuries — including to the driver — as the business was not open at the time of the strike, according to the cafe in a Facebook post on Wednesday morning.
The driver told a responding officer that his brakes failed, as the vehicle struck a parked car and went through the storefront, Union police said to New Jersey 101.5.
He was ticket for careless driving, while the car was towed from the scene by police.
Among clean up and damages to be fixed was the cafe’s front window — which included a stained-glass design of the renowned artist the business is named for — as well as indoor decor that was plowed to the side by the minivan.
“We’ve been really touched by all the messages that have come our way from so so many people that care deeply about the cafe and want to help,” Van Gogh’s Ear Cafe said in its Facebook update.
The first way customers can help — is to buy a gift card to the cafe, while it’s closed.
“The cash flow while we’re closed will be critical to paying the bills,” the owners added.
☕ Rooted in the mid ‘90s, Van Gogh’s Ear Cafe welcomes customer support
Van Gogh’s Ear Cafe first opened in 1996 — amid peak “Friends” popularity.
Customers began flocking to their own coffee house, with eclectic couches and seating, for freshly made beverages, light food and open mic talent.
The current owners, the Perara family, took over the business in 2009.
They also own a bakery next door, which is another way that supporters can help as repairs are made.
Jammed Up Bakery offers pastries, cookies, decorating kits and freshly made dog treats.
“If you’re not in town you can even order cookies online to be shipped nationwide,” according to the owners.
No structural damage was suffered, according to as first reported by PIX11 and confirmed by Union police, so the repairs would be mainly the considerable clean up and front window repair.
“Stop in to say hi and grab a coffee once we reopen,” the cafe owners added online, saying they would be sure to share their progress on social media.
For members of “Generation X” who grew up in the Union area, Van Gogh’s Ear Cafe was a formative part of teen and young adult years.
Here are some other “must be from Jersey” experiences.
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Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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