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Arby's without drive-thru board after weekend incident

A sign is posted Sunday where the former drive-thru menu board was located at Arby's in Willmar. The drive-thru menu board was destroyed Saturday by a suspected drunken driver. Tribune photo by Ron Adams

WILLMAR -- An accused drunken driver has left the Willmar Arby's restaurant without its drive-thru menu board, just a few days before the annual Sonshine music festival begins.

A 32-year-old Willmar man allegedly hit the board with a vehicle at about 11:25 p.m. Saturday. He was arrested by Willmar police on a charge of fourth-degree driving under the influence.

Arby's district supervisor Joyce Linn said Sunday that a new menu board is on order, but she didn't know when it would arrive. Sonshine begins Wednesday and attracts more than 20,000 people to Willmar each July.

Without the large, lighted menu board, the restaurant no longer has a communication system to allow customers to order before they pull up to the drive-thru window.

The restaurant is taking orders from customers at the window, Linn said.

"We'll accommodate them however we need to and make it work," she said.

According to the police report, the vehicle "destroyed the entire menu board" and broke it off at ground level. The board was located behind the restaurant, and there was no damage reported to the building.

Employees at the restaurant said it had closed early Saturday night because of storms in the area, so no one was in the restaurant when the crash occurred. Those who came to work Sunday morning were surprised to find their menu sign gone.

"I'm a little grateful it was our menu board and not another driver on the road," one said.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

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