It is a very sad day in Côte Saint-Luc as Raffi Abikian has closed his service station at the corner of Westminster and Guelph Road for good.
After nearly 30 years serving the community, Raffi has reluctantly merged all operations to his NDG service station/body shop. He is hoping to implement a shuttle service. When I stopped by to see him, he promised me a full interview in January when all of the facts can be placed on the table. Let’s just say that Sobeys, the owners of the property, made the decision which results in Côte Saint-Luc losing our last surviving service station. It is a huge loss, not to mention an inconvenience to all of us.
Raffi is a friend to all of his clients. When you bring your car for a checkup and he notices something that is wrong, you randomly ask if he will remember the situation weeks or months later. “It is all in the computer,” he says, pointing to his head.
Raffi is honest, always looking to save the client a buck. “You do not need new tires,” he’d tell me. “I will find you barely used ones.”
Raffi departs his second home for the past three decades.
My 15 year old Toyota is still on the road strictly because of Dr. Raffi. He took this dying patient and brought it back to life.
Raffi wishes to advise all of his clients that they will be serviced at his NDG location, expertly managed by George Soulahian. More details are to follow.,
Not too many years ago our community had Pneus Experts and Canadian Tire at then called Cavendish Mall, which serviced cars and Bernie’s on Côte Saint-Luc Road. The first two shut down and Bernie’s relocated.
When Shell opened a self-serve gas station, complete with a car wash and a depanneur, the future of Raffi’s was questioned. Shell is owned by Sobeys. Originally Raffi owned a station further down Westminister, closer to Montreal West,
“We started from scratch when we opened our first garage and built our client list,” says Raffi. “Then, we had the opportunity to get this location, so we took it.”
Raffi’s son Ari, a very polite young man, is part of his talented and devoted team of mechanics.
As a member of city council, I am anxious to learn more about the Sobeys decision. Will they apply for a permit to sell the land for housing? I would prefer the return of a service station.
Stay tuned to this space in January!