Shop is open while remodel takes place
Alan Hastings, the restaurateur who put "The Haystack" sandwich on the global map, is trying his hand at something completely different this summer: restoring a beat-up auto shop. He has assumed control of Heritage Auto in Youngstown and says, "We have big plans to turn that place around."
"It's a challenge - it's a new challenge," says Hastings, proprietor of Lewiston's The Silo Restaurant.
Now, admittedly, Hastings is not much of a wrench man. But, his father, Richard, who purchased Heritage Auto in 1995, is an engineer, and Alan has converted his own vehicles to run on vegetable oil instead of gasoline.
"I think I have the aptitude for that kind of thing, but I am not a mechanic," Hastings says.
What he does know, Hastings says, is good management, which is key to success and longevity in the car care business.
"I think it's easy to focus on quality service," he says, if you pay attention to customers and their needs.
Heritage Auto is open and will remain so during the renovation. Hastings says his auto team will create a more efficient inner office, build a more prominent storefront sign, install new blacktop, and update the paint and landscaping.
"You're going to see that change," he says. "It's my goal to turn that around."
Heritage Auto workers have already removed some of the debris and excess from in front of the building at 201 Lockport St.
One thing that won't change is the garage staff. Hastings is retaining all of Heritage Auto's mechanics.