That venerable / aggravating annual Southeastern Michigan tradition, the Woodward Dream Cruise, is already revving up its old engines up and down the M1 corridor. Besides the obvious curbside food booth action from places like Birmingham's Hunter House — already in full view on Tuesday afternoon — there are plenty of restaurants along the cruise route who are throwing up their hands and shutting their doors to avoid the traffic and accompanying hordes of classic car lovers.
Ferndale's Torino announced last week that they would be closed through August 20 due to the Cruise, and several other non-diner style restaurants along the fabled road appeared to be pondering similar options as a way to cut their loses and admit that not many cruisers are interested in high-end dining and drinking when there are classic cars nearby.
On the other end of the Cruise scale, new places like Royal Oak's speakeasy concern, the Lock & Key, and Ferndale's revamped New Way Bar are hoping to use the increased traffic along Southeast Michigan's central surface roadway to lure in new customers.
The Lock & Key — housed in the redesigned lounge room of the Oxford Inn — opens to the public on Thursday, and they plan to offer special opening-weekend appetizer deals and drinks through the Cruise period.
At the New Way Bar, new owner Jamie D'Angelo — the first new owner in the bar's nearly 80-year history — told the Detroit News' Melody Baetens that he "plans to attract car-lovers with a playlist of classic rock and oldies, food and drink specials and air conditioning on full-blast." A camera feed will broadcast the Cruise to customers sitting inside, merging the worlds of classic car watching and alcoholic drink consumption in a new and original way.
Do you know of any restaurants or bars featuring Woodward Dream Cruise specials this weekend? Or maybe your favorite place is throwing in the towel this week to avoid the traffic jams. Let us know in the comments below, or drop a note on our tip line.
· Torino Ferndale [Twitter]
· New Way of Doing Things at Ferndale's Venerable New Way Bar [DetNews]
· Lock & Key [Twitter]