Gas House Car Wash closing doors after 50 years

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)--  A rainy day didn't stop customers from getting their cars washed this afternoon.

"When my sons don't wash my car, which is quite often that they don't," says longtime customer Claude Wills.  "I certainly come here for my washes."

But longtime customer Claude Wills will have to find a new venue for his vehicle.

After 50 years at the corner of Forest Park and Vandeventer, the Gas House Car Wash is going away, for good.

"They love it," says lead cashier Tunya Barnett-Finley.  "They don't want to see Gas House close.  They say we're the best car wash in St. Louis."

"Yeah actually I've been coming here for like 15 years," says longtime customer Charles Conway.  "So yeah I'm quite sad to see this closing."

The stop to soap up your car will succumb to student housing as midtown begins a makeover over the next year with Ikea moving in across the street.

"But what's bittersweet for customers are the conversations and characters that make up this location," says Patrick Clark.  "After all, what other car washes have an indoor oasis and a giant penguin."

The familiar popcorn machine has found a new home with some neighbors.

"Cross the street at the fire house," laughs Barnett-Finley.  "They couldn't wait, they've been on it."

Friday is the last day for this longtime convenient location where St. Louisans have enjoyed an extra rinse cycle.

"Just take my time because of the activity that took place here, you know the people that come through," says Wills excitedly.  "Sometimes it would be someone I hadn't seen in years."

It seems fitting it was a rainy day at the car wash, as this mainstay becomes a memory.


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