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Gaetano's takes another hit

Gaetano's, post-crash.
Gaetano's, post-crash.

Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it...and repeat it.

On Sunday, a car crash outside of Gaetano's sent a minivan spinning off West 38th Avenue up to the restaurant's front door, and pushed a Ford Probe right through the patio on Tejon Street into one of the nice, new plate-glass windows. And this wasn't the first time Gaetano's had been hit, either.

See also:

- All in the family: How do the Smaldones feel about the revamped Gaetano's?

- Review: Is a meal at the revamped Gaetano's an offer you can't refuse?

- Photos: Behind the scenes at Gaetano's

The iconic Italian restaurant, which the Smaldone family opened in 1947 and sold to the Wynkoop family of restaurants more than fifty years later, has been hit four or five times before, Gene Smaldone tells Dick Kreck, author of Smaldone: The Untold Story of an American Crime Family.

In fact, it happened often enough that what was once billed as a "bullet-proof" glass door at the front of the building was actually a heavy glass door installed after one of the many cars-in-the-entrance episodes, Smaldone says.

Gaetano's, which was given a major overhaul last summer, was closed Sunday afternoon, but reopened Monday.