BRIDGENORTH — Bridgenorth Car Wash, owned by former restaurateur Frank Palermo, plans to give back to consumers and community members this weekend.
Pizza and refreshments will be up for grabs at the 1041 Gore St. business on Saturday for Bridgenorth Car Wash’s inaugural Customer Appreciation Day — marking over a year under new ownership.
Palermo took over the car wash in July 2021.
Bridgenorth Car War is a self-serve car wash. It features an automatic washing station along with three bays where boats, recreational vehicles and tractor-trailers can be cleaned. The car wash also sells snacks, refreshments and car accessories.
It’s a family business at heart. Palermo is assisted by his wife, along with his three part-time working children. They’re all pitching in to build the business after Palermo made the leap from the food service world.
Looking for a change of pace, he decided to close his Vaughan restaurant — operated for 5 1/2 years — before setting his sights on Bridgenorth as the perfect location for his latest business venture.
“It was all about just trying something different. The restaurant business had a lot of hours and late nights,” Palermo told The Examiner.
“My family is growing and I was spending a lot of time away from my family. With the car wash I don’t have to be there 24/7; with the restaurant I had to be there until 2 or 3 in the morning. So I’m able to spend more time with my family.”
Having taken the reins of Bridgenorth Car Wash during the pandemic, Palermo said the new business endeavour hasn’t been without its challenges.
“It’s been a little rough (emerging from the pandemic) but we’re trying to make a go of it and do different things for our customers,” he said, adding that Saturday’s event is all about showing appreciation to community members who’ve supported the business with their patronage.
So far, the response from Bridgenorth area residents has been very positive, Palermo said, adding that he’s gotten to know many of the “very nice” locals.
While he’s still based in Vaughan, Palermo said he’s considering making the move to the Bridgenorth area eventually.
“I like the people, I like the area, I like the community. It’s a pretty little town. It’s quiet. I’m just trying to get to know people and see where I’m going to go with this. I’m trying to build it up to hopefully have a successful business that one day the kids will take over,” he said.
Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.
Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner