Shop Look: Pit Lane Oil Change of Richmond, Ky.
SHOP STATS: Pit Lane Oil Change Location: Richmond, Ky. Operator: Kevin Robinson Average Car Count: 10 Shop Size: 3 Bays
From the Ground Up
Originally built in 2009, the shop was vacated in 2016 and stayed abandoned until Robinson purchased it in February 2021.
Despite still having a strong foundation, Robinson said the building had been trashed inside and out over five years of nonuse and required a complete overhaul before opening in May.
Robinson’s team redid the interior of the lobby and bathrooms with porcelain floors and a checkerboard finish to give it, as Robinson called it, “a dealership feel.”
“We’re treating some of the higher-end BMWs, Mercedes, Land Rovers,” Robinson says. “They like coming here and getting dealership quality rather than spending up to $400 at an actual dealership.”
Best Foot Forward
Robinson is proud of his team and the way they’ve turned Pit Lane Oil Change into what they describe as the best oil change spot around. But above all else, Robinson is especially proud of an unexpected feature in his shop: the bathrooms.
“We’ve been known to have, probably, the nicest facilities in the entire country,” he says. “Not just the state. In the nation.”
The previous ownership group had a reputation for being less-than-attentive to their shop and for having generally dirty facilities according to Robinson, and that included the bathrooms.
Robinson also says some of that prioritization of a clean waiting area and bathroom came from his wife, who told him it’s incredibly difficult to find clean and pleasant-to-use public bathrooms, especially for women.
“We had to overcome the stereotype of this place being a shady place, a dirty place,” he says, “and so we just want to keep it as clean and open as possible.”
Room to Relax
Richmond, Ky., has average high temperatures above 50 degrees for nine months out of the year. With his shop nestled in next to a professional golf course, Robinson says he’s made it a priority for his customers to be able to enjoy the relatively warm temperatures and scenic views outside the shop as much as they enjoy the clean interior and friendly service.
Customers will oftentimes drop off their car for an oil change during their lunch break at work and will sit outside at one of the several picnic tables provided by the shop and eat while they wait.
Robinson says, though car count has been fairly low in the shop’s first year of of business, he’s already starting to see an upward trend. While he wants his shop’s service to be its No. 1 selling point, he wants the clean, friendly, enjoyable accommodations to be a close second.
“People are just tired of having dark, dingy facilities,” he says. “They like having something new all together, and that's what's catching on here for us.”