Lifelong Clayton resident Joe Glik visits in downtown nearly every morning for two primary reasons: a cup of coffee, and an activity he considers a public service.
His expertise? Safeguarding the pocket change of early risers who park along North Central Avenue.
"You don't need to put money in there," Glik yelled to a man preparing to pay for parking last week. He sat at a outdoor table in front of Pomme, a green coffee mug within reach.
Glik, 86, explained that officers with the generally don't check the meters and pay station until about 8:30 or 9 a.m. (For the record, Clayton's official meter policy is that time limits are enforced starting at 8 a.m.) As someone who watches his personal finances closely, it makes him happy to save people money.
It might also be considered welcome relief for people who can't figure out how to use .
"They don't know how to work that sucker," Glik said.
And there's a third, more personal reason.
"I like self-recognition," he said, smiling.
Glik previously called Davis Place home. Now, he lives just north of Pomme on North Central Avenue.
"I think it's the No. 1 place in Clayton to live," he said.
Glik has become an institution outside of Pomme. He meets several friends on a regular basis and makes a point of greeting everyone who walks by.
He's even got a dish named after him—Joe's Special—though it's not published in the Pomme menu. For $3, he explained, a guest can get one egg cooked in any way, along with toast and garnish.
Glik is chairman of Glik's, a group of 54 family apparel stores located in nine states. His grandfather started the business. It has been particularly successful in Michigan resort towns. As a result, July sales have surpassed those made in December, the busiest month for many retailers because of the Christmas holiday.
He graduated from St. Louis Country Day School and then from Washington University, where he studied retail and played football under Weeb Ewbank. Ewbank went on to lead the New York Jets and quarterback Joe Namath to victory in Super Bowl III.
"He was a good fundamental football coach," Glik said.
Glik remains a loyal alumnus of the school: He has twice petitioned the university to post a sign at Forsyth and Big Bend boulevards notifying passersby that the 1904 Olympics happened at Francis Field.
He has four children. Late last month, he went fishing in Jackson Hole, WY, with his son, Bob. When he's not working, he spends his time playing golf.