Shop Look: Top Notch Oil Change of Kingston, New York

Dec. 1, 2023
This shop lives up to its name with a fully renovated building and a focus on offering options to customers.

Operator: Chris Torres 

Staff size: 5 

Shop size: 3 bays  

Total Transformation  

Chris Torres opened Top Notch Oil Change in July 2023, having transformed a shop that was originally built in 1980 by Jiffy Lube. In another previous life, the building was also owned by a Jeep Chrysler Dodge dealership. It was closed when Torres moved in.  

“We just rehabbed the building, cleaned everything up and got ‘er shined up and operating again,” Torres says. “So, it’s pretty cool to see an old building that was closed to the community for a while come back to life.” 

Renovation of the shop touched nearly every corner, from the lobby to bulk storage, lighting and the outside of the buildingeverything but the driveway, Torres says. It was a group effort.  

“I hired some good people that were able to help me from the beginning, cleaning up the shop, painting and everything,” Torres says. “Those are the same guys that are here helping change the oil and work on customer’s cars.” 

Access to Options 

Torres says the shop stands out with its “nice bright building” aesthetics. Additionally, he says customers respond positively to having access to a lobby with a television and coffee available.  

Top Notch gives customers the option to wait in their car, wait inside the building, or drop off their vehicle and spend time elsewhere for the duration of the service.  

“We’re really customer service focused,” Torres says. “However the customer wants to receive our service, that’s how we give it to them. We don’t stick to one specific thing.”  

This method seems to be paying off. At the time of this reporting, Top Notch has over 50 five-star Google reviews.  

Need a Lift?  

One of the main reasons Torres was interested in the building was because it has established pits, ideal for quick oil changes. One of the bays at Top Notch has a pop-up lift that lies flat in the pit and can be brought up for mechanical use, tire rotations and inspection services.  

“We’re still able to push oil changes in the other two bays while we have mechanical or inspection, so it doesn’t tie anything up,” Torres says.  

Overall, Torres describes the shop environment as having an “old school barbershop mentality” wherein everyone is always welcome to stop in, either to get their vehicle serviced or even just to say hello. 

“We’re really just trying to give people an affordable option (with) good customer service … no need to reinvent the wheel, just try to treat everybody with respect,” Torres says.