According to company records, about 1,200 customers of B's Auto will be looking for a new place to have their vehicles repaired, because owners Pat and Colleen Burke said they were unable to renew …
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According to company records, about 1,200 customers of B's Auto will be looking for a new place to have their vehicles repaired, because owners Pat and Colleen Burke said they were unable to renew the lease on their shop site at 1236 E. Hampden Ave. and their only choice was to close the doors on Aug. 31.
“We didn't want to close but we couldn't renew our lease here and the owner refused our offer to buy the building,” Colleen Burke said. “We also tried to unsuccessfully to find a new location somewhere in the area. But time on the lease was running out so we stopped repairing cars Aug. 31 so we could clear out the building. Our plans are to hold an auction very soon to sell our equipment so that we can be out of the building when the lease ends in October.”
Colleen keeps the books for the company while Pat has always been out in the shop working on cars.
Colleen said she and Pat have been married for 40 years on Nov. 4 and when they got married the couple didn't have any plans of opening their own car repair business.
“Pat had been working for dealerships all his life,” she said. “We had always talked about owning our own shop. We came to Colorado in '76 and one day in '87 I was grocery shopping when Pat came running up to me telling me he had found it, the place where we could open our own auto repair shop. Thirty days later we opened the shop here where we are today.”
She said you can serve a customer one time but there needs to be something that brings that customer back.
“I believe the key is customer service,” she said. “The people bring their car to us for service. They usually don't see the technicians who do the work. Their contact is with the people in the office. Whether I am meeting the customer or it is Pat or service adviser Joe Gootee, who has been with us for 26 years, we always make sure we provide quality customer service, which is what makes that individual a repeat customer.”
She added they have experienced, quality technicians working on the vehicles. She said Howard Wink has been a technician with the company for 22 years and Ryan Burke, her son, had worked for the shop for 15 years.
Pat Burke's family was in U.S. government service. He was born in Italy and when his parents finally retired he said it was nice to live in a place knowing he would not have to be moving every two years.
“I was in high school and got a job moving cars for a dealership,” he said. “One day I told the service manager the man doing the oil changes was doing it all wrong. He asked if I could do it better, I said yes, he liked my work and I replaced the guy who was doing oil changes. I guess that the start of my career working on cars.”
He said he and Colleen moved to Colorado from Buffalo, New York in 1976.
“I worked at a couple dealerships for several years, including working at a Chevrolet dealership on Arapahoe Road,” he said. “One day I told the owner I was going to open my own shop, he wished me luck and became one of our customers.”
Susan Solnick said she had B's Auto repair her cars for 15 or 20 years.
“I kept coming back because they do such good work. I also like it that they are so friendly and they always get the work done properly at reasonable cost,” she said, noting that she's hoping to find a place “that will provide the same quality, friendly service I always received at B's Auto.”
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