Archive for Thursday, August 31, 2006

Car wash reopens under new operator

August 31, 2006

J and J Car Wash is back in business.

The car wash reopened after a 19-day closure that began when John and Judie Stalter of Lansing sold the business, 108 4-H Road, to MidAmerican Bank.

Bruce Bergman, owner of The Shoe Box, 1112 N. Main, is leasing and operating the car wash, which opened in 1985.

J and J is west of the MidAmerican Bank building that is under construction on the southern end of the Towne Center development. The branch is scheduled to open in January 2007.

Pete Payne, MidAmerican president, said he didn't know what would happen to the car wash in the long term, but the bank has no plans at this time to close it.

"It might be a car wash forever," Payne said.

Joan McConnell, MidAmerican vice president, said that during the closure she heard grumbling from many of the branch's customers at 109 4-H Road, south of the car wash.

She said they were eager for it to reopen.

"It's more convenient for many of them on this side of town with all the construction," McConnell said.

Leavenworth County resident Annette Darting agreed. Last week, she gave her Ford Expedition a thorough wash for the first time in weeks. She said she could have used the automatic car wash across the street, but she preferred to wash her sport utility vehicle herself.

When she learned the car wash was closed, she said she decided not to drive through the construction north of the car wash on Main Street.

"I was not happy," Darting said. "I needed a car wash, but I waited. I had not washed it since July."

Bergman will continue to work at The Shoe Store, which he and his wife, Jolene, have owned for seven years. They have owned and operated retail businesses in Lansing, Lawrence and Leavenworth for 23 years.

Jolene Bergman said her husband wanted a new challenge, and the opportunity came at the right time.

The couple's other ventures have included a sewing machine and vacuum shop in Lawrence and an appliance store in Leavenworth.

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