MONROE, Conn. — After a devastating fire ripped through the former Meineke Car Care Center at 585 Main St., the owner hoped to rebuild in Monroe as soon as possible.
That was August 2006.
"It was almost 10 years ago that it burned down,” said owner Bob Babu. “It took almost that long to get it up and running again.”
But sometimes good things come to those who wait: On Monday, dozens crowded the shop for a festive grand opening and ribbon cutting with First Selectman Stephen Vavrek and other local dignitaries.
The new 5,000-square-foot facility boasts state-of-the-art technology and a sleek waiting room with two flat-screen televisions for customers.
“I’ve lived here almost 40 years, and I gave the best to my hometown,” said Babu, who owns two other Meineke franchises in the state.
The new facility is more than just a neighborhood muffler shop. It’s also a major repair center equipped to do oil changes and tire alignment as well as exhaust, emission and transmission work.
“It’s bumper-to-bumper. Everything,” Babu said.
The Monroe location is one of about 1,000 in the United States, Mexico and Canada.
Lee Hossler, director of the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, said many town residents have been waiting for the facility to open.
“It’s out of the ashes,” he said. “But he said he would reopen and here we are. And it’s a beautiful facility — all modern and high-tech.”
Vavrek, holding his oversized ribbon-cutting scissors, surveyed the packed waiting room and the cars outside.
“I hope the lot always stays this full,” he said.
Meineke Car Care Center , 585 Main St., Monroe, is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and closed on Sundays. Customers who would like more information can call 203-880-5672 or find Meineke on Facebook at bristolmonroemeineke.