The landmark auto repair shop that has been in Bethesda for 83 years will have at least another 18 months at its Wisconsin Avenue location, after owners worked out a deal with developer Washington Property Company.
Eastham’s Servicenter (7100 Wisconsin Ave.) will be without the Exxon gas station that was taken out by crews during the last few months. But owner George Zinkler said the auto repair portion of the facility should reopen on Thursday and remain open until Washington Property Company breaks ground on its 145-unit apartment project destined for the site.
The crew, including some mechanics who have worked at Eastham’s for more than 30 years, have already begun to schedule appointments.
Part of the process of reopening was removing the underground gas tanks and replacing car lifts and other auto shop equipment supplied by Exxon.
Zinkler said Eastham’s will intensify its search for another Bethesda location in the next 18 months.
“We’ve been here 83 years,” Zinkler said. “We’d like to celebrate our 100th here.”
Zinkler first worked at the shop under original owner and future father-in-law Robert Eastham about 60 years ago.
“It wasn’t easy but Washington Property Company was very cooperative,” Zinkler said. “We were able to come to an understanding. We’ll have everything first-class like we’ve had for years. We’re gonna be here.”