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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Pizza Ranch suffers car accident

On November 12 Grinnell’s Pizza Ranch was the victim of a car accident that destroyed a wall and forced the restaurant to close for two days. Photo: Andrew Tucker.

On Monday, Nov. 12, diners feasting on all-you-can-eat pizza, chicken, salads and desserts were treated to an unexpected side of panic when a car rammed into the side of Grinnell’s Pizza Ranch restaurant.

Brandon Ver Meer, part owner of the franchise, spoke with The S&B about the incident, as well as how the restaurant has dealt with the aftermath of the crash. 

“I had a lady that said that her brakes failed and that she couldn’t stop [the car] … and [her car] hopped right up the sidewalk and drove into the side of the building, [taking] out my men’s and women’s restrooms,” said Ver Meer. “But we’re back up and operational now.”

According to Grinnell Police Department records, officers were called to the scene at 1:03 p.m. and took a report of the incident.

Because the crash occurred around lunch hour, the restaurant was full of patrons. Thankfully, the only victim of this accident was the restaurant itself: “Nobody was injured, everybody was okay … Nobody was on the toilet, thank God,” Ver Meer said.

But damages to the restaurant were significant.

“We had to close down Monday just to get it cleaned up. On Tuesday and Wednesday … we were open for pickup and delivery and then we had Garland Construction out of Belle Plaine come to put the wall back in and re-sheetrock and get it all set up. We got a new toilet in so all the bathrooms are usable now. Now we’re just waiting for product to come in to refinish the bathrooms and the outside wall,” he said.

Ver Meer is an old hand in the pizza buffet game. He has been with Pizza Ranch for about 20 years, first as a dishwasher. Now, he’s proud to be a part owner of the Grinnell franchise, which opened in 2012.

Despite the damages, Ver Meer said he’s grateful that no one was injured in the crash, and he’s appreciative of the public’s understanding.

“I’m glad that nobody got injured in the accident and that everybody’s okay. The wall and the toilets are replaced … We’re back and running and things are good. We haven’t had anybody complaining about it. Everybody was kind to us and understanding, so I’m really thankful for that as well.”

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