Your neighborhood cruise-in night

A friend from California was intrigued in our conversation about my book, by cruise-ins. She asked if I had ever gone to the Big Boy restaurant in Pasadena for cruise night. The only time I was there, it was definitely cruise night. Well, every night was cruise night back in the ‘60s when I was there. Not a car over 1967. And I also liked the Big Boy burger and the Slim Jim.

Totem Pole art

Back in the ‘60s in Detroit, Woodward Avenue had two Big Boys. One was near where I lived, but it was not a drive-in. The other Big Boy at Thirteen Mile Road on Woodward was a drive-in with curb service. They had a minimum charge to eat in the car because kids would come in, and park for hours watching the cruising scene.

There were a lot of drive-ins on Woodward back then, like the Totem Pole. But what has taken it’s place are bars and restaurants that attract classic cars by designating a ‘cruise night.’ A lot of Big Boys, Steak and Shakes, and Sonics (one of the last chains of drive-ins with curb service besides some A&Ws) around the country have them and so do a lot of sports bars like Quaker Steak and Lube that also have bike nights.

Totem Pole menu

A good source for drive-in restaurants is Jilly’s drive-in restaurant page;

Here’s their list of Drive-in restaurants:

Drive-in restaurant homepages:

Jilly’s list also has a list of interesting articles about Drive-ins. I would think that most of these places have a designated ‘cruise-in’ night where you will meet friendly people that have awesome ‘Dream Machines.’ Hey, Google it for a cruise-in night where you live.


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