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Car Wash, Lube Express Settles in on the Ridge

Owner and manager discuss new Roxborough business.

John "Jack" McGovern saw a void on Ridge Avenue's growing commercial corridor and wanted to fill it.

"When the and were built across the street, it suddenly began a very interesting property. There was a need for a car wash that did everything in Roxborough, and I think the residents were looking for a place that's fast, clean and green," McGovern said from his accounting firm  on Main Street, Manayunk.

After working with the Ridge Park Civic Association and , McGovern's All Seasons Car Wash and Mobil 1 Lube Express offically opened last month.

Entrenched in the Roxborough-Manayunk area, McGovern chairs or is member of numerous community organizations, like , , and —among other groups. His firm, .

Three years ago, McGovern bought a portion of the Gary Barberra property and spent time crafting the final business model.

"We wanted to get the concept right. We wanted to give something that local people would like, and it was important to us to fit well with the community," he said.

Traffic Concerns

Located next to the , the duel carwash/lube place gave some residents pause regarding traffic on the busy Ridge Avenue.

In February, NewsWorks.org shared one resident's view that traffic would increase.

On Wednesday, McGovern said he contracted a traffic study and designed the facility to handle 18 cars. Entering the property, drivers seeking car repair pull into the garage, which can service eight cars. For the carwash, the design directs motorists around back to queue.

"It's really a valet service, too, so people will get out of their vehicles," McGovern said, adding his employees would take it from there.

Since All Seasons Car Wash and Mobil 1 Lube Express opened in March, McGovern said more business comes in the evening—not during morning rush hour on Ridge Avenue.

"We really thought people would want it before work. We might extend hours later, but the morning hasn't been busy," he said.

The 'Green' Services That Give Back

Open seven days a week, the facility offers a wide range of services, manager Brian Wilson said. The business partnered with Mobil 1 to use their oil, and cleans vehicles with Blue Coral, which specializes in eco-friendly services. And every full-service oil change comes with a free carwash.

The carwash options vary from minimal to intense. Exterior washes start at $7.99. McGovern said a body-detailing tent is coming soon for hand washing.

According to Wilson, the facility also installed a green roof and is constructed with porous materials to contain storm water runoff. In addition, it reuses waste lubricants to heat the facility.

Part of the project, McGovern said, was financed by the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, which lends money in exchange for the creation of jobs within a three-year period. McGovern agreed to hire 35 people through the program.

Getting the Word Out

All Seasons Car Wash and Mobil 1 Lube Express had a soft opening in March. In April, they will begin a "guerilla marketing campaign," McGovern said, by flyering residents and businesses, in addition to advertising locally.

Though the store held a campaign rally for state Rep. Pam DeLissio (D-194), there hasn't been a grand opening yet.

Mayor Michael Nutter—a former Roxborough councilman—and (D-4), McGovern said, have offered to wash cars to celebrate the new shop. Wilson said the Mobil 1 NASCAR car, driven by Tony Stewart, will make an appearance, as well.

Ultimately, McGovern said residents will drive the business’s success.

"People here are loyal. They demand good service, and it's our job to give it to them."

Bill Ross April 29, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Car wash, laundromat? You can find these in any low class neighborhood. If these politicians and connected businessmen want to improve Ridge Ave. you need to attract some decent retail sales shops. Enough with the nail salons, banks, dollar stores. You could learn a thing or two from Main St. Manayunk.
poorrichard April 30, 2012 at 02:57 PM
My point exactly. Main Street, and adjacent areas, attracts many people from outside the immediate area, with the exception of the drinking crowd. Ridge Avenue, and its tributaries need similar businesses to generate an increase of people willing to come up the hills. I do not know what the demographics of Roxborough are compared to Manayunk, but the veteran locals, (older in age and residential longevity) will not support the eclectic shops/restaurants that you find on Main St. What the Ridge needs are exciting new ventures, perhaps something in between a Main Street and a New Hope, to be successful
Micheal May 26, 2012 at 07:10 PM
I was not happy today I got the premium driver side mirror was not wipe. They wipe the dash board miss some spot not happy oh passenger side door still had dust
jone holly January 04, 2013 at 02:26 AM
I feel like im home when i walk in too have my oil changes.The technician are the best they take the time out too tell you whats going on with your car.Customer service with them is great!!! See you in 90 days.
Nico May 19, 2013 at 11:42 PM
they damaged my car and would not do a thing about it - they are just another 'schlock' business that will probably be gone in a year

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