Longtime Residents Open Corner Carhop In Walled Lake
With a background in entertainment and construction along with a hunger for a nostalgic diner, Dita and Sean Clouser bought and remodeled a Walled Lake icon restaurant. The duo is not only providing a look back but great food. Located at 725 East Walled Lake Drive in Walled Lake, theCorner Carhop provideds a spot for cruisers in both car and boat a delicious landing.
You and your husband opened the Corner Carhop last year. How did you come up with the idea to bring an old-fashioned drive-inn back to Walled Lake?
“We took over at Christmas time. I’ve been a local for over 20 years and always loved Tom’s and A&W, and my husband and I thought if Tom’s ever goes up for sale, we’re not restaurant people, but we love the nostalgia of the drive-inn and the idea of keeping it alive and taking it back to the carhop girls with the pilbox hats and have fresh burgers for Walled Lake.”
The Corner Carhop took the place of Tom’s Root Beer Stand, a classic drive-in and Walled Lake icon. What changes did you make?
“We did change the menu, we have fresh burgers now – no frozen and it comes from a local Michigan vendor. We make our own fresh chile and deep fried Oreos. We have different specials, today we had fresh pasta. We have top quality food there because we’ve always been local and were hoping for a great burger joint.”
You took over and introduced the Corner Carhop to Walled Lake. You redecorated, remodeled and introduced a new menu. Can you tell me more about that?
“We did. We took it back to the fifties with pink and black and the checkerboard and the girls all have pillbox hats and aprons that I made. My husband and I both work for the movies (Dita is a scenic artist and Sean is a construction coordinator). We love nostalgia and vintage and we didn’t want anyone to take down our drive-in here in Walled Lake. So I’m just taking it back to old school. We’re just local people trying to keep the lakers happy.”
You offer different specials and events each night. Can you tell me more about that?
“We have a cruise night on Thursdays and we are hoping to have on Friday nights karaoke and a theme night. The girls will be dressed differently in different costumes. That’s what they used to do in the carhop days. They’ll dress up like disco or cowboy or for their school in blue and gold. Saturdays I have 10 percent off for vintage cars. I want all those old cars to come, I’m going to pack that place with vintage cars and have them come around and enjoy Walled Lake and enjoy our nice little town down there. And we put bleachers down by the dock that we put in for boat service. The girls go out to your boat and deliver too.”
Anything else we should know about?
“My husband and I are the ones with the photo mural project up downtown. We have the signs here. Each building has its own portrait that my team did for Walled Lake and they are displayed right now at the Corner Carhop and they’ll be displayed in downtown Walled Lake probably next week and we’ll put them up on the mural. They are amazing and I can’t wait for Walled Lake to see them. It’s called ‘Putting Walled Lake on the Map.’ Valerie Kemp and I are on the Downtown Development Design for Walled Lake. I figured we’d bring a little art to Walled Lake. Businesses donated a little bit of money for us for the materials and now they have a personal sign for their business.” The Corner Carhop is located at 725 East Walled Lake Drive in Walled Lake. For more information call 248-688-3400 or find them on Facebook, keyword search The Corner Carhop.