This past Saturday night, Pho 7 was the scene of something out of a Michael Bay film, when some jackass -- in the middle of a scrap with some other jackass literally hanging out of the driver’s side window of his car -- drove his BMW right through the front of the place.
No one was killed, but three people were injured (including Jackass Number Two) and the restaurant was totaled, with the car having made it all the way through to the back wall. When the cops showed up, Jackass Number One tried to flee, but his Beamer conked out after just a few blocks. At which point he tried to fight the cops. He was tasered, cuffed and transported, according to police reports. The injured were taken to the hospital. And Pho 7 was boarded up tight.
Pho 7 is located at 10009 East Hampden Avenue in Aurora, in the space once occupied by the Istanbul Grill, a Turkish restaurant owned by Emre Karaoglu that I loved right up until it closed. (It came very close to being named the Best New Restaurant of 2006 -- an honor that went to the also-now-closed Brasserie Rouge -- and instead was named Best Middle Eastern Restaurant.)
And Istanbul Grill was the place where, during a review dinner, I missed being robbed by about sixty seconds—coming in near enough to the event that when I arrived, the owner was still trying to get the cops on line, and the customers who’d been inside at the time were just starting to talk about what had happened.
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Talk about a cursed location. -- Jason Sheehan