I expected a place called the Hot Rod Cafe to have an automotive theme. What I didn't expect was how deep the gearhead lifestyle figures in the lives of the three generations of women who run the place.
“Mom drives a Harley,” said Lucy McIntosh, who operates the new restaurant at 2831 N. Stone Ave. with her mother, Deanie Burris, and grandmother, Madonna Toia. “Grandma has a 1939 hot rod and a motorcycle.”
The eatery opened about two weeks ago in what was once McIntosh’s great-grandfather’s muffler shop. The cherry-red interior is draped with checkered flags. The bases of the tables are chrome tire rims. Racing and Harley Davidson memorabilia are displayed everywhere.
The menu is broken down into “The Starting Line,” “Souped Up Soups,” “Super Charged Salads,” “Cold Hearted Sandwiches,” and “Hemi Hot Sandwiches.” Drinks are called “Racing Fluids,” and sandwiches are given names like “T-Bird” and “Pink Cadillac.” Breakfast and lunch are served from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Nothing on the menu is more than $5.
And should you find yourself inspired by the menu and décor, feel free to indulge your inner grease monkey right up the street at Don’s Hot Rod Shop at 2811 N. Stone Ave. It’s run by McIntosh’s grandpa, a former drag racer who has operated the shop for decades.
Visit the restaurant's website for more information.