What is the hottest thing happening at the Chuck-A-Burger car cruise? Is it the broiling, humid St. Louis summer? Is it the slick rides, such as the T-top Corvette Stingrays and Plymouth Hemi 'Cudas? Is it the restaurant chili some folks are actually consuming in the triple-digit heat? Or is it Elvis impersonator Steve Davis, draping scarves around the necks of an endless series of women of a certain age, accepting their nervous kisses and continuing to croon through "Can't Help Falling in Love"?
Marcus Kosa/Mind's Eye
Featuring live music by Jules Blattner, begins at 5 p.m. Saturday, August 17. Admission is free. Call 314-427-9524 for more info.
It's hard to decide what's hottest and what's coolest about the monthly summer car show at the nearly 50-year-old diner. Slaves to car culture wander amid the tightly packed grid of machines and discuss whether a classic car should, on principle, be a "shower" (only driven to shows) or a "driver" (driven to work daily). If you've been to a show like this one, you know the drill. Old Ford pickups, muscle cars, '57 Chevys and even a few motorcycles and scooters await their fans. A recent show featured a darling Fiat mini and a pair of sleek top-bracket dragsters fresh from Gateway International Raceway. (In case you're wondering, there is no "cruise," per se, other than the ride to the diner.)
Hungry oglers have three options: They can go inside for burgers and fries in the small, nostalgia-filled dining room; buy barbecue burgers and hotdogs from an outdoor stand; or order from poodle-skirted carhops (who are, alas, not on roller skates).
With all these retro jollies from a more innocent '50s America, maybe the scene could use a little retro shakeup. It would be nice to see the oily crew from a local band of rockabilly musicians such as the Cripplers or the Trip Daddys sneer and leer at the assembled like greasers from the wrong side of the tracks.