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Open or Closed? Ferndale Businesses Share Dream Cruise Strategies

Find out which businesses along Nine Mile Road and Woodward Avenue are embracing the cruise and which are closing down shop until it's over - and why.

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 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 , 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."

, one of Ferndale's newest establishments, will get its first taste of the Dream Cruise this year. They'll be open regular hours (11 a.m. to 2 a.m.) each day of .

"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 , 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 , 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 (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 , 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."

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 stay open Saturday include , , , the , and .

Other businesses that will close include , Mae's, Claddagh Chiropractic, The Magic Bag, Pak-Mail, Assagi, and . The and 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 .

"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.

tim costello August 17, 2012 at 08:01 PM
8 degrees Plato Beer Company has no idea what may or may not happen but have chosen to stay open for Dream Cruise - regular business hours.
Elizabeth Anne Fritz-Cottle August 17, 2012 at 08:15 PM
I just want to know how Ferndale can approve Mustang Alley's complete takeover of our city for three days. Ugh. It doesn't jive with Ferndale's culture and it ruins my chance to drink local coffee.
Angela Emmerling August 17, 2012 at 08:55 PM
That's one of my issues with the Cruise, and why I think Ferndale government needs to come forward with justification for the harm this event causes residents and Ferndale businesses. Show us the costs and show us the revenue for the city. The #1 gripe most Ferndalians have is that the cruise stretches far beyond one day, and Ferndale government ADDS to that problem by approving multi-day events on side streets (and even on 9 Mile -- which blows my mind that both a major highway like M-1 and a major mile road would be impeded at the same time, ESPECIALLY when the intersection of thise two roads is our downtown) that compound the Woodward trouble.
Melinda Lee Hicks August 17, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Actually, Angela, I did not patronize The Magic Bag very often but my children did which is why I said "family". I'm old. My children ARE their target demographic. I'm sure they appreciate your speaking on their behalf, though!
Angela Emmerling August 18, 2012 at 02:11 AM
If your adult children (The Magic Bag is not a kid venue) need mommy to tell them where they can and can't go and are so upright that they can't take a joke then I maintain my belief that they are NOT the target audience for the Magic Bag. I'm not affiliated with them other than as a patron, so I can't speak for them, but I have taken the time to review their rationale for the sign and related contest on their FB page (did you?) and I feel like I have informed myself enough to have a pretty good idea of who they are NOT trying to attract.

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