Archived Story

At the Hop brings back 50s style for cruises

Published 11:30am Tuesday, August 6, 2013

It’s a blast from the past every month in Ottertail, and residents have brought out their polished chrome to celebrate.

Ottertail’s own 1950s theme diner, At The Hop, has hosted classic car cruises twice a month this summer in honor of their own classic theme.

For owner Marlys Stahlecker, the nights have been a fun way to get the restaurant’s guest more involved with the theme she loves so well.

“I figured classic cars would be fitting for the night itself. That was the idea,” Stahlecker said. “The people are great and they really enjoy it. The lakes area is a great place and so are the people who live here.”

The cruise nights started in May and will last until September.

On the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, classic cars line the parking lot and Stahlecker offers discounts and a chance to win a gift card to those who participate.

Each night, the diner welcomes up to 30 participants to the cruise. Groups and individuals from Ottertail, Fergus Falls, Perham and Battle Lake participate in each event. For most, the 50s style and music is a nostalgic look to their past.

“They really enjoy the setting,” Stahlecker said. “I’ve had conversations with people and they say that many of the vehicles were the first that they ever owned.”

While Stahlecker said she has never owned a classic car, the cruises have given her a glimpse of the enjoyment they bring.

With the spread of motors, candy-coat paint and polished hubcaps, she’s been won over to the idea.

“I’d probably want a ’57 Chevy,” she said with a laugh. “I think that’s what everybody wants.”

Stahlecker is in her second year owning the restaurant. Started as a food cart, she brought her homemade burgers, malts and fries indoors at the Ottertail location but kept the “’50s flair.”

“We enjoy regulars and new faces,” Stahlecker said. “With the cruise nights.

At The Hop will host four more cruise nights on Aug. 14 and 28 and Sept. 11 and 25.

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