Canisteo mobilizes around Annie’s restaurant after a car hits a building


Annie’s restaurant is always ready to lend a hand to community causes in the Village of Canisteo.

This week, however, the roles have been reversed.

Canisteo Valley came to the restaurant’s aid with a wave of donations and ice cream sales after a motorist hit the building on the corner of Greenwood and Main shortly after midnight Monday.

The impact destroyed much of the side of the brick building, ripping out several windows and leaving the interior exposed to the elements. A 29-year-old man, Hornell, was charged with DWI by state police after the crash. Annie lost everything in a cooler near the impact area, and other equipment was also damaged.

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While the restaurant was forced to pause its full menu, it reopened for ice cream sales in an untouched section of the building. Customers made Tuesday one of the restaurant’s busiest days.

“Yesterday we opened for ice cream and they were pretty much lined up all day,” owner Annie Osterwald said. “Today the school classes have been here and the kids are so excited that we can still serve ice cream.

“We’re overwhelmed with all the support from the community. It’s pretty amazing. Other companies have reached out to us from surrounding communities as well, not just Canisteo. It’s been pretty overwhelming.”

A patron, Sam Lehman, also launched a fundraiser to compensate for the damage caused to the restaurant.

“Not because she asked, but because she donates whenever someone has fundraisers, we collect donations for Annie and Tom during their ‘down time’ during construction” , Lehman said. “The number of times I’ve seen Annie donate is literally impossible to count for all of Canisteo in general.”

Cleanup is underway this week at Annie's restaurant, a staple in the village of Canisteo which suffered extensive damage when a motorist slammed into the building early Monday morning.

Annie’s opened May 1, 2017 and recently celebrated its fifth anniversary at Canisteo. The company now has 10 employees and also hosts events in the area on weekends, with a full schedule planned throughout the summer. The Canisteo Legion and the Canisteo Wesleyan Church have both donated their kitchen space to allow the restaurant to continue its catering service.

“I was very nervous about losing all of this, but they offered their kitchens to me and we’re in the process of getting a permit to do that, so I won’t have to cancel any events,” Osterwald said. “It’s a big relief, that’s for sure.”

The interior of Annie's restaurant in Canisteo suffered damage when a motorist slammed into the building early Monday morning.

Osterwald plans to fully reopen the restaurant once repairs are complete. Although this timing is uncertain, Annie’s will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and will serve ice cream for the next few weeks.

“I don’t know for sure yet when it will be, but I’m confident the repairs will be quick,” Osterwald said.

Chris Potter can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @ChrisPotter413. To get unlimited access to the latest news, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

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