burnside

Chris Pritchett, 29, of Detroit, walks pass the Burnside Car Wash sign on Saturday, April 24, 2016, in Detroit, MI. | Salwan Georges, Detroit Free Press

When two brothers were laid off from their jobs, one working for one of the Big Three and the other as a cable installer, they decided it was time for a change. They found a vacant lot for sale in Detroit and bought the property for just $50. Burnside Car Wash grew from there, mainly through social media and word of mouth and with thanks to the handmade signs the two brothers did up themselves.

And now, almost as a testament to the American dream, a flag they’ve draped on the property has become an icon for customers who come to get their vehicles washed. The brothers, Chris and Erik, said the hung the flag over a fence at their business as a way of using colors that didn’t represent some kind of gang, they said. It took off from there.

“It’s kind of like a trademark or something,” said Chris Pritchett, 29. “Even little babies come out here and get pictures taken. It’s even got its own little hashtag. It’s amazing. We really kind of got lucky.”

Now the car wash business can have a line down the street on any given day. People stop for pictures with the flag and pay $15 to have their cars washed. The brothers said their business was born from desperation but is thriving thanks to solid work ethic and a supportive community. Read the Detroit Free Press for more on their story.