'The whole place could have blown': Antique car crashes into Libertyville pub, ruptures gas line
Operations and events are being assessed after an antique car crashed into the kitchen entrance and ruptured a natural gas line at Mickey Finn's Brewery in downtown Libertyville.
There were no apparent serious injuries, according to Brian Grano, owner of the popular brew pub at 345 N. Milwaukee Ave.
"It's a miracle," he said Thursday morning. "The whole place could have blown up. You could hear the gas hissing."
Libertyville police characterized it as a "significant" leak. Portions of Milwaukee Avenue and Church Street were temporarily shut down while the area was ventilated. The gas was shut off about 8:35 p.m., police said.
In a Facebook post, Grano said a classic car from the nearby Car Fun on 21 event drove down an alley and crashed into his building at high speed about 7:50 p.m. Wednesday.
Police said the car was a 1993 Excalibur and the driver was taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center with injuries that were not life-threatening. No charges have been filed, and the crash is still under investigation, according to police.
"MainStreet Libertyville is extremely grateful that no one was seriously injured," said Executive Director Jennifer Johnson. The organization sponsors the car show and other events downtown.
Mickey Finn's was jammed, as was the downtown, for the last car show of the season. Grano said the bar and restaurant were evacuated without incident and busy Milwaukee Avenue shut down for an hour or more.
Among the guests was a private party with 1960s pop group The Buckinghams as the entertainment. Their set was cut short.
"They all did an amazing job," Grano said of emergency responders, village employees and North Shore Gas. "It could have been really, really bad."
A USO fundraiser Thursday night and Oktoberfest fundraisers Friday and Saturday were scheduled outside in the rear parking lot and will be held as planned, Grano said.
Proceeds go to the USO, MainStreet Libertyville and the GLMV Chamber of Commerce.
"We're already set up," he said. "Beyond that, we don't know when we'll reopen."
Grano posted a photo of the ruptured gas meter and line midmorning Thursday and said the restaurant will be closed until further notice.
"We can't operate without gas," he wrote. "I have contractors out this morning to determine the timetable for the fix. Hopefully, sooner rather than later."
Grano said insurance will cover the bulk of the damage, and he thanked supporters who called and texted all night.