Photo by Gene Davis
Bee Cave business wants to be a destination instead of a chore
Coachworks Car Wash owner Gary Domel is trying to scrub away any negative connotations of going to a car wash.
While most people think of going to a car wash as a chore, Domel said he wants Coachworks to be something people look forward to and enjoy.
Coachworks looks more like a filling station and barn than a traditional car wash. While it was originally planned to just be a car wash, it has grown to include a lube center, inspection and detailing services.
“I don’t want to be seen as a car wash,” he said. “I want to be seen as a destination.”
As part of the effort to become a destination, Coachworks sells adult beverages and soft drinks, has a barbershop, Bee Cave Barber, and operates a shuttle that can drop off and pick up customers from somewhere nearby while their car is worked on. The Coachworks lobby has a wide-screen TV, comfortable chairs and free Wi-Fi.
Chris Domel, Domel’s son and the general manager of Coachworks, said the goal is for people to enjoy their time at Coachworks.
“We want people to be excited about coming up here,” he said.
Domel opened Coachworks in 1999. He said he had thought about opening a car wash for several years since Bee Cave, at the time, did not have any nearby car washes.
Domel had previously worked at Dell Inc. and said he got to a place where he was ready for something different.
“When you get to the point when you don’t enjoy your job, you need to change jobs,” he said. “I’m here a lot, more than I would be paid to do so, because I enjoy it.”
Because they both enjoy their job, Domel said he and his son can almost always be found at Coachworks. He said that is helpful for customers, who have any questions or concerns.
“We like to know our customers and our customers appreciate that,” he said.
Domel said he wants to continue to make Coachworks into a destination. He is considering putting tables in the lobby and having waiter service.
“I’m not the cheapest, but I do have the best detail and the best lube, and the fastest and best inspection probably in the Austin area,” Domel said.
Other possible future plans include having an area for watching sports, a quiet area for reading and turning an office into either a small nail salon or a chair massage room. He is also considering selling food such as high-end burgers and pizza at some point.
“We just want people to have a good time when they are here,” he said.
Bee Cave Barber at Coachworks Car Wash
In early 2012, Coachworks Car Wash grew to include a barber shop, Bee Cave Barber.
Coachworks Car Wash owner Gary Domel said customers have enjoyed the option of getting their hair cut while their car is worked on.
Domel said adding the barber shop was part of Coachworks’ effort to become a destination.
“I had this strong feeling that customers would really enjoy it, and they do,” he said of the barber shop. “It has been growing nicely.”
Barbers Carey Clark and Joe Cates recently started working at the barber shop.
Cates previously worked at Finley’s Barber Shop and Clark worked at Roosters Men’s Grooming Center.
Coachworks Car Wash, 3919 Juniper Trace, 402-0500, www.coachworkscarwash.com