NEW YORK (CBS 2) — A brawl at a popular restaurant and bar in Union Square ended with one man hospitalized. It was an early morning police scene at The Coffee Shop at 16th Street in Manhattan’s Union Square.

At 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning, police say an altercation between two groups of men inside the restaurant spilled out onto the street, reports CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.

A 28-year-old was beaten in the back of the head.

“Yeah, there was a fight going on,” one witness said. “Guys were fighting, and a couple of guys fell in the gutter.”

Witnesses say they saw the victim sitting on the curb down the street, bleeding as his girlfriend screamed for help. His attackers ran off.

Alex Paffenroth was setting up at the farmer’s market across the street, putting his vegetables out for the day, when he heard the commotion and saw the victim on a stretcher.

“He had his back to me, like this here, and I could see like blood in the back,” Paffenroth said.

Customers say the restaurant is a neighborhood institution, well-known as a safe place and popular because it’s open all day and all night.

“It’s a main staple of living in New York City,” Andrew Jacono said.

The Saturday lunch crowd at the neighborhood hot spot had no idea of the vicious early morning beating on the same sidewalk out front.

“That’s crazy,” Seaford resident Samantha Bogach said.

“That’s horrible, but I have to tell you, it has nothing to do with this establishment,” Jacono said. “This is a place where locals come. There’s a farmer’s market right across the street.”

That’s why many, including the police, are still asking: why here?

The NYPD is still searching for suspects in the Union Square brawl.

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