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Business Pulse - Downtown Service Center for sale
Downtown Service Center owner Butch Young says he is retiring Dec. 31 and the property on Sparta Street is for sale. Those interested can call 473-2923.

Butch Young is giving himself a big Christmas present this year. He’s retiring.

The longtime owner of Downtown Service Center at 203 Sparta Street says he is retiring Dec. 31 and the business is for sale. Anyone interested can call 473-2923.

When I stopped by the business on Wednesday, Butch politely declined to reminisce about his 30 years in business. “It’s time to hand it over to someone else,” he said.

With the property for sale, who knows what will happen with the business in the future. I do know Downtown Service Center has been a step back in time of sorts, a place where you can pull up and get your gas pumped and windshield cleaned while you sit in the car.

I remember years ago when gas stations would offer full-service and self-service pumps. The full service would cost about 20 cents more a gallon, but an attendant would pump your gas and you’d never have to step out of the car.

With the way we seem to be getting more sedentary as a society, I would think this service would gain popularity, not lose it. But today there are very few gas stations where full service is available.

According to Warren County property tax records, the Downtown Service Center building was constructed in 1969. It’s a 2,072-square-foot building with three garage bays.

It also has three underground gas tanks, a 24x45 canopy over the gas pumps, and a small shed. Mr. Young is the property owner.

If you’re interested in owning Downtown Service Center, give Butch a call. I won’t even charge a commission for getting the word out as my way of saying Merry Christmas.

Eddie Kirby Is festive

Carquest employee Eddie Kirby was certainly in the Christmas spirit on Wednesday. He was out back behind Carquest on Wednesday dressed as Cousin Eddie from “Christmas Vacation” and deep frying turkeys to give as Christmas gifts.

Eddie was sure to point out his furry friend Bandit who he stressed is his boy and not his dog. Bandit accompanies Eddie most everywhere as his support friend.

“This is something I’ve been doing for years because I really enjoy it,” said Eddie. “I started it when I had my nursery, Shady K, and I’d cook 15 to 20 of them to give out to my employees. I’m doing this here for all my co-workers at Carquest.”

Eddie is all over the county delivering parts four days a week. “We’ve been crazy busy,” he said. “It’s wearing me out.”

Eddie is a big-time Warren County basketball fan and uncle to Pioneer head coach Chris Sullens. He says he enjoys watching how the team plays with grit and emotion.

Eddie said he wanted to take this time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday weekend.

Christmas Sales strong

What’s been the hot item this Christmas season?

If you ask Tiger Lily Boutique owner Kari Burnett, it’s been the shacket.

A shacket is not a shirt and it’s not a jacket. It’s a heavy shirt typically worn over your normal clothes to provide an extra layer of warmth without the bulk of a full-fledged jacket. I’ve been using flannel shirts as shakets for years for exactly those reasons.

“The Christmas rush really started for us in October,” said Kari. “It’s been a long shopping season. November has been good and December is keeping up too. Overall, it’s been a good season for us.”

Shackets aren’t the only hot item. Kari says graphic T-shirts have been big sellers as well.

“People really like the shirts with the old-school rock bands like Def Leppard, AC/DC and Aerosmith,” said Kari.

Tiger Lily Boutique is helped by having a great location on The Strip next to Sherwin-Williams.

Diamond Jewelry Company owner David Stinson echoed Kari’s comments about a strong shopping season.

“Usually the rush is the last three weeks of December but we started much earlier than that this year,” said David. “Everything has been clicking since the beginning of December and maybe a little before that. I can’t complain at all.”

David said he’s not an economist but he thinks all the government stimulus money injected into the economy in 2020 was the reason he had his best year on record. He says this year in 2021 is right up there with it.

“Last year was an exceptional year and this year we are close to it,” said David. “I don’t know if we’ll match it but we should be close.'

One neat aspect of David’s business is the fact his son Abram has started making jewelry. Abram recently finished a one-of-a-kind bracelet and says he can see himself joining the family business. He’s the fifth generation of the Stinson family to take up the trade.

“None of us have had any classes,” said David. “We’ve just passed it down from one generation to the next. It started with my great-grandfather, who was a blacksmith. Well, a clockmaker needed a part and back then you couldn’t go online and just order what you needed so the clockmaker had him make the part for him and he kind of shifted to jewelry from there.'

Novares building Gets interest

I reported earlier this month that Novares will be closing its plant at Mt. View Industrial Park. The company got its start in Warren County as Miniature Precision Components before Novares, a French company, bought the business some two years ago.

It’s a 100,000-square-foot building that is expected to be available at the end of April.

“I’ve already shown the building and the company called back wanting more information the next day,” said Industrial Development Board executive director Don Alexander. “For them to call back the next day shows they are interested.”

Don said the building is already listed on the TVA website and is attractive because it has a gym and healthcare facility.

Novares does plastic injection molding for the automotive industry. The most recent employment figures show the company with 58 employees. Don said some of those employees have already started interviewing with other companies.

That’s all folks

On this festive holiday weekend, business news is probably the smallest of concerns. If you have business news you’d like to see in this column, email editor@