Discount Tire begins booking customers this week, as nearby Tega Cay businesses hope the store will bring a little action their way, too.
Paul Lee, manager at Discount Tire, planned the Wednesday morning opening after two weeks waiting on parking lot work to be complete. The store has 14 employees and may swell to 20 for the summer to accommodate demand.
“The absolute best, fastest customer service in the business,” he said. “Our goal is to turn the car around so fast you don’t have to wait.”
Lee owns other locations in Rock Hill and Charlotte. There are more than 800 Discount Tire stores nationwide. Offerings include all sorts of tires, along with custom and low-cost wheels. Having a major highway right beside him, and all the tires it brings by, makes the 2451 Hwy. 160 West location ideal, Lee said. Neighbors do, too. “There’s a lot of very good businesses here,” he said.
Some of those businesses may be as interested in the new customer traffic as Lee is. During construction of the tire store, Joe and Flor Strollo lost their front parking at Carlos Cafe while workers looked for a utility pipe. Flor Strollo said at least a couple of weeks losing business “hurt us tremendously.”
Now she’s hoping for a turn in fortune as the parking is back, and the tire store brings customers.
“We’re looking forward to serving Cuban food for many years to come,” she said.
Christine Dixon, owner of the No Sit Stay grooming and pet supply store, said the parking situation “has definitely been an inconvenience for some of our customers.” She’s also seen the Donatos and Big Apple Bagels close down right beside her.
“For us, it’s scary,” she said.
A new owner is planning to reopen the bagel shop sometime this summer.
Dixon isn’t sure her target customer and the tire store’s are the same, but hopes the nearby businesses can bring more traffic to one another.
“That’s our hopes,” she said. “I can’t see it hurting us.”
There is reason for optimism. There’s rumor of re-openings. Carlos Cafe is holding a celebration June 21-22 after one year in the new location, having moved from Rock Hill. Music, raffles and giveaways are planned, as are beer and wine samplings.
Flor Strollo said she’s hoping the new movement on Stonecrest Boulevard is a sign for all involved on brighter days ahead.
“It’s going to be one year since we’ve been here,” she said. “It’s been a very rough year.”