Should I stay or should I go?
It's the question many Ferndale business owners face every year around Dream Cruise time.
For some, the influx of an anticipated 1.5 million people to the historic avenue for the annual Woodward Dream Cruise means a chance to have a busy, profitable weekend. Other business owners close down due to concerns over traffic, lack of parking or customers only coming in to use the restroom.
At Rouge, a makeup and nail studio on Woodward in Ferndale, owner Cheryl Salinas-Tucker says her customers who called about appointments for this Saturday changed their minds once they realized it was Dream Cruise weekend - which reinforced her decision to close that day.
"Really it's because no one can get to my business," she said, pointing out that her parking lot is also rented out for one of the Dream Cruise events. "We don't want to be a bathroom, either."
But it doesn't phase Salinas-Tucker much - "It's just one day," she said. "To us it's not a big deal. I know a lot of people do take quite a hit but we just see it as a Saturday off, which we rarely get."
"We're still really new so we need to have that impression with the community. Whether it's a busy weekend for the community or not, we're here," said manager Sagen Isham. "We see no point to really close just yet."
But Imperial will take a proactive approach to avoiding the bathroom traffic: Everyone who walks in will pay for a $5 coupon, which will be applied to their bill.
The taco bar will also appeal to cruise viewers by selling cold beverages like Mexican Coke and other non-alcoholic drinks in the front patio area.
Nicole Cass, general manager at Toast, said the restaurant will be closed on Saturday.
"Historically our owners have closed for the Dream Cruise," Cass said. "I think that the tourists don't come in and that the regulars can't get here."
But Cass is quick to point out that the business has nothing against the annual event. "We're not anti-Dream Cruise. But it is only for some people. We'll open back up on Sunday at 8 a.m."
For owner Ann St. Peter at Pinwheel Bakery/Red Hook, the decision to close down starting Friday afternoon is easy: "I don't like having people use my bathroom all day for free," she said.
"Our bathroom is for customers only ... we get people trying to figure out what the cheapest thing is to buy," she said. "It's the same with Pride Fest - we don't open for that anymore."
Pinwheel is located on Nine Mile Road, which will be closed off during the cruise this year.
"The city puts the food vendors right smack dab in front of our stores. You've got every food vendor on the street right in front of us. Really the only thing people want is our bathroom," she said.
St. Peter said her business and places nearby, like Anita's (which will also be closed), have seen decreased business all week.
"They've tried to rent it out before to no avail. All of us have tried everything, it's not worth it," she said. "Our opinion is just Saturday is fine, but because it goes on for so long ... I'm losing two-and-a-half days worth of business basically."
Janine Souther, manager at the Cupcake Station, said they'll be open for business and will be prepared with extra cupcakes.
"We're looking forward to it," she said. "We're embracing it."
Designer Resale Boutique on Nine Mile will also be open during the cruise and will offer special deals, along with a '50s style party and trunk show, to appeal to new visitors to the area.
"Sometimes you just gotta go with the flow," said owner Amy Keely.
Other businesses that will close include Torino, Mae's, Claddagh Chiropractic, The Magic Bag, Pak-Mail, Assagi, and Green Daffodil Studio. The Ferndale Public Library and Affirmations will also be closed.
Salinas-Tucker, at Rouge, said she feels for the businesses that are more affected by the need to close down - and for the residents who are frustrated by the cruise.
"I think the deal is really that people from Ferndale just plainly can't get around their own city and they take it personally," she said.
Be sure to call your favorite Ferndale businesses to confirm specific hours of operation.