The outdoor area of a Napier bar was obliterated after a car crash early Saturday morning.

Police were called to Westshore Beach Inn's sports bar, on Meeanee Quay, after a car smashed through two gates and into the outdoor seating area at about 3.30am.

A police spokesperson said the vehicle crashed through the gates and "wrecked a few chairs and a lean-to has gone through the front window".

When police attended the scene no one was with the vehicle and witnesses reported a man running from the car after crashing it.

The driver was located at a nearby address and arrested for drink-driving. He will appear in court at a later date.

Advertisement

Westshore Beach Inn owner Jeremy Bayliss said his staff sleeping upstairs heard a crash but could not see anything so went back to bed and he only found out about the incident at about 8.30am on Saturday.

"It's pretty mind-blowing what occurred.

"We're just so happy that we were shut, it caused a massive amount of damage.

"We're unbelievably lucky we were shut long before that."

The place used to be a drive-through bottle store so staff were joking that the man might have thought it still was but in all seriousness his staff and customers were a bit "shaken" by the incident which could have severely hurt anyone in the outdoor area if it happened during business hours, he said.

"It's fricken scary."

The driver would also have been seriously injured if he had gone off the road a metre or so to his left or right because he would have hit a concrete pole, Mr Bayliss said.

He must have crossed the centre line as he was heading north and was also lucky not to have hit any oncoming cars because he appeared to have been going at a high speed due to the amount of damage, he said.

"Big hunks of wood have been obliterated, tables, steel stools.

"A wine barrel at the gate entrance flew 15m in the air and hit the roof."

Mr Bayliss and the rest of his team spent Saturday cleaning up but managed to open the bar at its usual time at 11.30am but with less furniture and a few boarded-up windows.

A nearby resident said she believed the driver fell asleep at the wheel and went through the outside sitting area.