SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – It’s the end of an era for getting gas in the city.
Brentwood Service Center, located at the intersection of Glenstone Ave. and Seminole St., stood the test of time as the city grew up. As other small independently-owned full service gas stations closed over the years, Brentwood became the sole remaining example left in the city.
The place is just as much a gas station as a museum, with creaky wooden floors, a statue of Abe Lincoln, and reminders of when owner Chip Wagoner’s father bought the place in 1966. Back then, U.S. 65 came down Glenstone right in front of the business.
“Gas isn’t my real business, explained Wagoner. “It’s inside the bay working on cars.”
There’s no convenience market with slurpees or soda fountains- just the pumps, check out area, and repair garage. While it’s lacking the amenities of the big corporate chain stores, it’s what you do find here that sets the place apart.
“I have spoiled them by getting the windshields and the tires and checking the oil. But, that is over,” stated Wagoner.
After more than five decades in business, Brentwood is closing down next week.
Carol Ann Chilton, a longtime customer, said, “It’s a pleasant place to do business. You have to get gas somewhere. You might as well get it where somewhere where everyone is nice and says are you going to get that oil changed or not? They kind of look after you a little bit.”
Leak Moyer, a longtime employee, explained, “It is just kind of the end of an era. They have had the same customs coming here for many many years. a lot of women have come through here that have never pumped their own gas so it is going to be a change for everybody. She added, “It is sad but it is also time.”
Wagoner says his health, and the ongoing labor shortage, are two reasons for closing.
“I am tired,” he chuckled.
As for the big new Kum & Go station that opened next door and across the street just days ago? Earlier this year, KOLR10 interviewed Wagoner when K&G announced plans to build nearby. At the time, he said he wasn’t worried. He contends it still isn’t a factor in his decision to retire.
“It’s not them, it’s not them,” said Wagoner. “People were worried about them running me out. “
But, an offer from someone wanting to be next to Kum & Go will help fund his retirement.
Rapid Roberts has purchased the land and plans to build on the site, according to both Wagoner and a liquor license application notice posted on the property.
Brentwood Service Center will close next Thursday, September 30th. Its final days are busy with friends rolling in for one last old fashioned fill-up.
“As I put on the sign- thank you Springfield for 55 years. I couldn’t ask for a better place. I grew up here all my life and I will never leave.”