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Mechanics team up to open new full-service auto shop

Dad’s Garage owners Beau Woodrum, Rick Bitner aim to offer affordable prices

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dad's garage

FIX IT UP — Rick Bitner and Beau Woodrum stand inside their new auto shop, Dad's Garage, on East Markland Avenue.

Two local mechanics with more than 40 years of combined experience are teaming up to bring affordable auto repair services to customers.

On Labor Day, Beau Woodrum and Rick Bitner opened the doors to Dad’s Garage, a full-service repair shop on East Markland Avenue. The shop offers services from oil changes and brakes to engine and transmission replacement.

“We hope to get everyone taken care of in a timely manner at a competitive price, and we’re definitely willing to help anybody out and willing to give a look to anything and try to work with people if need be,” said Woodrum.

Woodrum worked most of his career at Sear’s Auto before it closed in 2017. He then went to work at another local auto shop while dabbling with the idea of opening a shop of his own. However, he called it a “pipe dream,” not thinking it could actually happen.

He tossed the idea around with Bitner, who also wanted one day to have his own shop, and before long, the pieces lined up to make it possible. The pair signed a lease on the former Clifford Signs building, with plans to purchase it in the near future, and transformed it into an auto shop.

Woodrum said the building is in the perfect location, as it’s easily accessible and has extra space out back to allow him and his partner to expand the shop as their clientele grows.

“With the location and the timing, it was a great opportunity to move forward,” Woodrum said.

Now, the shop owner hopes to let his former customers from Sears Auto know he’s still working in the business, now as co-owner of Dad’s Garage.

Going into work at his own business, he said, is an indescribable feeling.

“Coming into your own business is so much different from going into somebody else’s. The days seem to go smoother. They seem to go quicker. Just being in control, it’s so much different. It’s hard to describe,” he said. “It’s definitely enjoyable.”

Bitner echoed Woodrum, saying he’s excited to be running his own auto shop. His own motivation to open a shop came following tragedy. Bitner’s brother died at the beginning of the year, and the mechanic said he knew his brother would want him to follow his dreams.

“I always wanted my own shop, but I’ve always had that fear of trying. My brother passed away in January, and he kept telling me, every time I’d say something about it, he’d say, ‘Well, you either be content building someone else’s dream or get busy building your own.’ That’s something that kept coming back at me this whole year, and finally I said I’m doing it, regardless of everything,” Bitner said.

In addition to offering standard auto shop services, Dad's Garage also specializes in Jeep Wrangler frame repair.

Dad’s Garage is located at 1115 E. Markland Ave. and is open from 8 to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 to 12 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, call 765-252-3048.