Classic American cars and classic St. Louis pizza will be on the menu at the WingHaven location this Friday night.
From 5-11 p.m., the pizzeria will host members of the local Mustang and Corvette clubs as they bring their vehicles out for a "cruise." The idea is the brainchild of Scott Chervitz who started as general manager of the WingHaven eatery three months ago.
“I’ve done it at some of the other restaurants that I’ve been at, and it works pretty well,” Chervitz said. “We’ve had probably a dozen or so customers say they are excited and want to show up on Friday.”
Members from one local Mustang group and two Corvette organizations will be on hand for the evening. Chervitz expects about 30 or so cars to be parked for viewing, ranging from classic vehicles to modern incarnations of the automotive icons.
He said he hopes it will raise the profile of his establishment and generate a fun family gathering for local residents.
“We’ve been trying to put together some community events that aren’t huge in scale but are just kind of something good for the family to get together and do,” he said.
Chervitz said that while he is not a car enthusiast himself, he still likes events such as this one—and others seem to as well.
“You get a lot of people who just enjoy looking at the cars,” he said. “They’ll drive their Honda, but they enjoy looking at the Mustang.”
Some family members seem to like it better than others, he said.
“It’s mostly dads,” he said. “The kids think it’s cool, but the dads mostly want to talk about the nuts and bolts.”
Chervitz expects that the ongoing heat wave could dampen participation, so he is introducing three shade tents for viewers and motorists. The Kona shaved ice truck will also be on location.
“I hope to make it a regular thing with some of the other clubs,” Chervitz said. “We have a huge parking lot here. That works to our advantage.”
He said that at other dining establishments, he’s made events like this monthly.
“It hasn’t gotten to that stage yet, but when you do, it’s kind of fun,” he said. “It gives people with these nice cars a chance to dust them off and get them out of the garage.”
Kate Pepin of the Mustang Club of St. Louis will be among those getting her vehicle out of the garage. The Kirkwood resident owns two Mustangs, a 1966 and a 2006. Both are convertibles. She said she’s never been to the WingHaven Imo’s before but is looking forward to the event.
“We’ve done a few of them,” she said of similar gatherings. “We haven’t done a lot of them. We usually do car shows, and periodically we’ll go to different groups’ cruise-ins.”
Pepin noted that swapping automotive musings and memories is the best part of doing such an event.
“A lot of people like to ask questions, especially about the older (cars),” she said. “Then they like to talk about the Mustangs they had when they grew up or that their parents had. We always get a lot of stories about that.”
It can also help raise the club’s profile.
“If we get new members that’s great,” she said. “If not, we just like to let people know we’re out there, we enjoy our Mustangs and hope they do, too.”