THE Stig will be the guest of honour at the opening of Luppy’s American Diner in Queen Street on Saturday.
The mysterious helmeted star of the BBC’s Top Gear will be the star attraction at the event organised by brothers Mark and Chris Lupton.
The twins, self-confessed petrol heads with a particular love of big American cars, said they were “very excited” at the prospect of getting the Stig to open their diner but there would be plenty of other things going on on the day to ensure their new business goes with a bang.
They will bring some of their own cars – the only 2007 Dodge Charger police car in the UK and a New York Ambulance that served during the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre – but they will also be joined by fellow members of the Wakefield Mustang Owners Club and the Yorks Yanks American car club.
“We’re going to have Humvees, Mustangs, 20 to 30 gorgeous cars and the 99th Garrison who mostly dress up as Star Wars characters,” said Mark.
They hope the event will launch their new business in style, get them noticed and perhaps make their diner a meeting place for car enthusiasts from across Yorkshire.
For the last 10 years the brothers have run the Pizza Kabin in Gildersome.
Mark explained: “We developed a really good business, it was well respected and we were well known in the community and helped with local events.
“Unfortunately our landlord decided he wanted the building back, to run his own takeaway.
“When we packed it in we had nowhere to go so we sold all the equipment because we had nowhere to store it and literally the next day we heard about this place and made enquiries.”
The building had been empty since August when Bertie’s Diner had closed, the owners saying it was due to an increase in operating costs and a drop in revenue.
Although it was much bigger than their last business, the brothers decided they could take it on and continue the popular American theme which had won Bertie’s an appearance on television when it provided a backdrop for a Dragon’s Den challenge.
While they will continue to do takeaway pizzas they will also specialise in American-style burgers and hotdogs at what they described as sensible prices to attract families.
“It’s really exciting,” said Mark, adding: “We loved working where we were before but this is a new era and hopefully it was meant to be, it was karma giving us a push.”