Car slams into Mel’s Hot Dogs in Tampa, leaving customers stunned

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) – Since 1973, Mel’s Hot Dogs has been a Tampa icon on Busch Boulevard. Customers say this restaurant is a Bay Area favorite.

On Halloween, an unexpected customer certainly came as a trick, rather than a treat.

A car crashed into the longtime landmark, and it was all caught on camera.

Nick Martin and his girlfriend were inside when it happened. He was so stunned, he says he forgot what he was he was eating.

“It took a while for me to process that this was real. It actually happened. You know what I mean,” he told 8 on your Side.

Nick says he had no way of knowing what was about to happen, until he saw his girlfriend’s facial expression.

That’s when he knew something bad was happening.

Repairs are currently underway at the restaurant.

“I look up and my girlfriend’s got, like deer in headlights, I go turn around just in time to see what she’s looking at and see the car, and it looked like a bomb went off. It was unreal,” he said.

The entire accident is caught on company surveillance, courtesy of the owner, Mel Lohn who told 8 on your Side he’s just glad everyone is okay.

Indeed, no serious injuries were reported after one car slammed into another, causing it to then plow through the front window of the restaurant.

The repairs have already started.

In fact, the owner says, “We will be open tomorrow!”

As for Nick, he says he’s thankful to be alive. He told us, “My ears were ringing, it really was like a bomb went off!”

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