A speeding driver crashed his SUV through the glass storefront of Jugs Draft, a beer and growler seller at 3109 South Shepherd. Because of the vehicle’s angle and speed, it also plowed into the Jenni’s Noodle House next door. Jenni’s Noodle House co-owner Scott Tranweaver related his understanding of the events.
“The driver was speeding down West Alabama heading east from Kirby toward Shepherd. There was an officer behind him. I don’t think he was chasing him — just saw him driving really fast. [The driver] lost control coming toward the intersection, went through the CVS parking lot and then hit our bollards by the sign and went flying.” (Bollards are the short concrete posts installed to [ideally] stop cars from driving into buildings.)
The crash destroyed all of Jugs Draft's beer coolers. Employees salvaged bottles found undamaged during the clean-up and sold them on Sunday for $2 each. The company wrote on Facebook, “Come quick while most are still cool, bring your own boxes and bags. We are not doing growler fills today, just trying to #savethebeer.” Word quickly spread and all the beer sold out in two hours.
Artist Katsola had been working on a mural inside Jenni’s Noodle House over the past year that Tranweaver said was nearly finished. The artwork was on the wall hit by the vehicle. It will now have to be completely redone after a new white wall has been built by the landlord’s contractors.
There are three good things about this situation. First of all, the owners of both Jugs and Jenni’s Noodle House seem to be taking the unexpected turn of events in stride. Jenni’s Noodle House owner and namesake Jenni Tranweaver posted a photo of the damage on Facebook and wrote, “Customizing a new way to pick up to go,” while Jugs Draft posted the comment and photos shown below.
Second, cleanup and reconstruction is happening at a lightning-fast pace. Tranweaver says the cleanup is done and a temporary storefront wall has been constructed in front of Jugs. “We’re Houstonians,” says Tranweaver. “We’re going to rebuild and make it better.”
Third, and most important, since the crash happened around 4:30 a.m., no one was in either store. “People would have died if this had happened at lunch or dinner,” said Tranweaver. “Our dining room was destroyed. Everything was shoved up against the back wall — violently. A huge, two-door refrigerator from [Jugs Draft] went flying through like an atomic bomb.
People in need of a noodle fix (or who simply want to show support for the Tranweavers) can visit the two other Jenni’s Noodle House locations, at 602 East 20th and 2027 Post Oak. Unfortunately, the Shepherd store was Jugs Draft's only location. Keep an eye on the store's Facebook page to see when it might reopen.