Kuku’s restaurant was damaged after the driver of an SUV crashed into it on Wednesday. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Kuku’s restaurant was damaged after the driver of an SUV crashed into it on Wednesday. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich Indian restaurant reduced to rubble during busy holiday season

Owner ‘blown away’ by the damage, relieved no one was seriously injured

Saanich restaurant owner Randy Madhar was shocked when he got a call saying someone had crashed into his establishment, Kuku’s, on Wednesday morning.

He’d been in the shower getting ready to start work early for a catering event. After getting the call, he got in his car and raced over to check on the restaurant. He said his mind was on the safety of his staff and customers.

Madhar was “blown away” when he saw that the damage. The front end of the Indian restaurant – located near the intersection of Burnside Road West and Harriet Road – had been turned to rubble after the driver of a red SUV drove into it before 9 a.m.

Luckily, no one was inside or walking by at the time and the driver sustained minor injuries, Madhar said. She was taken to hospital with what he presumed was a broken leg.

A staff member was scheduled to start work just a few minutes after the crash. Her son had dropped her off moments before and she hadn’t gone inside yet.

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Madhar said if the crash had occurred 10 minutes later, workers and customers would have been inside.

“I could see some serious injuries,” he said.

The apartment above the restaurant was also empty at the time. Madhar said the resident and her baby were asked to find somewhere else to stay until the structural integrity of the building could be assessed.

Madhar has been in contact with police, municipal engineers and his insurance company but the full extent of the damage is not yet known. He was simply told the restaurant will be “out of commission” for some time.

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The incident will have an impact on Madhar’s business because the holidays are the busiest time of the year for Kuku’s. Madhar caters events and has provided food for those in need every Wednesday and Sunday for five years.

The next catering gig is for about 200 people in Nanaimo on Monday. Madhar is certain he’ll be able to “pull something off.” He has friends with restaurants in the area and hopes they’ll help him out.

“The person’s OK, so that’s what matters.”


@devonscarlett
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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com