The Vinsetta Garage in Berkley should be busier than usual Saturday and Sunday. (Charles V. Tines / The Detroit News)
After you gas up the hot rod, get some fuel for yourself at some of old standby and future classic restaurants on Woodward Avenue.
Many hot spots on M-1 — Crispelli’s in Berkley and Red Coat Tavern in Royal Oak, for example — are closed to the public because of private parties on Saturday. But there are plenty of places ready to serve hungry cruisers.
Woodward Avenue Brewers: Updated with a pizza-focused menu, the WAB has Woodward-watching spots upstairs near the big windows and downstairs on the patio. The WAB will be closed until 6 p.m. Saturday for a private party. Feel free to drop in later for a pint of raspberry blonde or vanilla porter. 22646 Woodward, Ferndale. (248) 546-3696.
Imperial: Watch the hot rods go by from long, communal tables near the roll-up garage door. Belly up to the bar or soak up the sun on the back patio. Don’t forget to enjoy a tequila cocktail from one of the expert bartenders, and bring some friends to split a plate of L.A.-style street tacos. 22828 Woodward, Ferndale. (248) 850-8060.
New Way Bar: This longstanding rock ‘n’ roll and biker bar is under new ownership, and the improvements are as evident as the new sign and improved front patio that faces Woodward. Look for live music all weekend, including touring band Motel Beds on Friday. Saturday, the New Way will serve the specialty shot, “smokey burnout,” made with Old Smokey Moonshine liquor. 23130 Woodward, Ferndale. (248) 541-9870.
Vinsetta Garage: This renovated car garage is a destination for car culture year ’round, but this weekend it will be especially hoppin’. The disco fries smothered in cheese curds and gravy, the hamburgers, and gooey macaroni and cheese are all popular and hearty menu items. Vinsetta is closed Friday night for a private party, but Saturday and Sunday is fair game for everyone. Seating is first come, first served. 27700 Woodward, Berkley. (248) 548-7711.
Duggan’s Irish Pub: This two-story pub is a top spot for cruise-watching because huge open windows that let diners feel the breeze and see the action on Woodward. Known for burgers such as the Big Chief, Duggan’s celebrates 30 years of car culture kitsch this year. The extremely casual restaurant (waitresses-wearing-flip-flops level of casual) also has pizza, salads, and sandwiches. 31501 Woodward, Royal Oak. (248) 549-3659.
Pasquale’s: An official Dream Cruise sponsor, this huge Italian restaurant has hosted family dinners, parties and banquets for 60 years. With pizza, pasta, salads, seafood and Italian specialties like veal scaloppine, there’s something for everyone. 31555 Woodward, Royal Oak. (248) 549-4002.
Custard & Co.: Cool off with a creamy vanilla or chocolate frozen custard, or check out the flavor of the week, usually something fruity. Custard & Co. also mixes up Faygo floats and coolers. 32922 Woodward, Royal Oak, (248) 549-2777.
Billy Sims BBQ: Pulled pork, smoked chicken and brisket are all popular items on this football legend’s casual chain restaurant. 32980 Woodward, Royal Oak. (248) 439-2209.
Peabody’s Dining and Spirits: Make a day out of it and complement your cruising experience with dinner from this Birmingham landmark. Peabody’s has classic fare like prime rib, filet mignon, lake perch and frog legs. Reservations available for parties of five or more. 34965 Woodward, Birmingham. (248) 644-5222.
Hunter House Hamburgers: This Birmingham mainstay really gets into Dream Cruise, and hosts oldies DJs Wednesday-Saturday, and live rock bands, including Elvis and Beatles tribute acts, Friday and Saturday nights. For more than 60 years, the white buildingon Woodward has been serving wonderfully greasy burgers with grilled onion, ketchup, mustard and pickles. 35075 Woodward, Birmingham. (248) 646-7121.