Garage 26, an auto repair shop, opened Monday at 147 E. William St.
“Everybody knows this building, the old Shell station,” said principal owner Elizabeth Sickinger. “The feedback we’ve gotten from Delaware, everyone’s really been pleased that we did something with it, especially on this side of town.”
The former Shell Oil gas station’s gas pumps, canopy and underground fuel tanks had been removed, but the building, constructed in 1964, had been vacant for a decade.
Delaware City Council approved a conditional use permit for Garage 26 in February. “The proposal effectively returns the site to its former use minus the gasoline station component,” said the city’s staff report in its recommendation.
It took Sickinger and mechanic Don McCann a little over a month to renovate the building. They have described Garage 26 as an upscale auto repair facility.
“We were looking to do something in town,” Sickinger said. “We saw this place and saw a chance to do our own renovations, so it’s perfect. Don let me run with it. It’s a little bit more girly than the typical car shop.”
About the name — the number 26 comes from a combination of family birthdays, she said.
Sickinger said she was McCann’s office manager at his former auto shop, 3D Automotive, in Radnor. A mechanic for 35 years, McCann said he was selling cars more recently.
“We started talking, and I said, ‘Why aren’t you still working on cars?’” Sickinger said.
“Now the tables are turned, Liz is kind of the boss,” McCann said. “It’s an interesting change of events. I like the repair side better, I’m more suited for it.”
The business does general auto repair, such as oil changes, tune-ups and engine repair. McCann said he can work on almost any make or year of car.
According to the conditional use permit, “no outdoor automotive servicing shall be permitted on the subject site.”
In the future, the parking lot will be repaved and striped, green space along Little Street installed, a wall sign put up, and a grand opening event is planned. Also, if business is good enough, an oil change technician will be hired and mentored by McCann.
Surrounded by an AutoZone, the Delaware County Historical Society and the Eagles Lodge, McCann said Garage 26 will be a good fit in the neighborhood.
“I’m a big believer in Delaware,” McCann said. “We try to support other businesses in Delaware. We look forward to doing business in Delaware and being part of our hometown.”
For more information, visit www.garage26auto.com or call 740-363-2026.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.