KENNEWICK -- The owner of The Bug Shack is opening another auto repair shop in Kennewick.
A-Z Auto will have its grand opening from 4 to 6 p.m. today at 1401 W. Kennewick Ave.
Over the years the building has been a grocery store, an arcade and thrift store, among other things. Half the building still needs remodeling but that's something Mike Harvey says he will tackle in the next few years.
"My main focus was getting the repair shop open," he said.
Harvey and four employees do full service repairs on foreign and domestic vehicles, some car sales and towing.
His towing company also will soon transition to the new site.
Earlier this year Harvey bought the 1950s flat-topped building and hired Romm Construction to remodel it. Like all remodeling projects it took a few months longer than anticipated.
"That's the understatement of the year," he said. "I'd hoped to open in March but it's taken a long time to really bring back the building. It needed a lot of work."
Harvey's original garage at 601 E. Third Ave. in Kennewick will remain The Bug Shack, specializing in repairing air-cooled engines like those in Volkswagens.
The VW garage is the template for one of the prominent locales in the Mercy Thomspon series of books by best-selling novelist Patricia Briggs, who lives near Benton City.
Harvey said it was really tight having the three businesses -- car repairs, towing and the specialty repair business for turbine engine cars -- all in the one garage.
"Once we get it cleaned out and organized, the garage on Third won't be as crowded as it is now," he said.
Today's grand opening event will feature a jousting bounce house, food from Red Bone Barbecue and Papa John's Pizza, and hot rods and classic cars.
A-Z Auto is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. The Bug Shack on East Third Avenue is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.
The phone for both businesses is 509-585-8000.
-- Loretto J. Hulse: 509-582-1513; firstname.lastname@example.org