It may be the busiest weekend at the pumps everywhere else, but all’s quiet at the two service stations in Adams Corner neighborhood right now. The village’s two gas vendors are out of commission— and have been for some time. And the issue has become a point of concern for neighbors and even officials at City Hall.
The old Soda Hunt fill-up station at the corner of Gallivan Boulevard and Granite Avenue has been closed for weeks now. The station’s pump handles are bagged in plastic, the cashier’s office is locked up tight, and the coolers that were once a handy spot to pick up tonic and ice are cleaned out. Eerily, the new-fangled outdoor TV monitors above each gas bay continue to pump out an endless stream of commercials and weather reports to the few motorists who continue to stop here in a vain search for gas.
The man whose family has owned the Soda Hut station for about 30 years by his count, says he hopes to have a new operator up and running there within the next week or so. “We’re planning on having someone in there by June 1,” said John Tamvakologos, who operates other gas outlets in the city, including the busy Mobil station on East Berkeley Street in Boston.
Tamvakologos had been leasing the Soda Hut to the same person who operates the Ghazy Saab service station on Adams Street. Tamvakologos would not say what happened to that arrangement, only repeating that there will be a new operator taking over at the Soda Hut.
The Reporter tried and failed to reach anyone at Ghazy Saab for comment on what’s happening with their property, where the gas tanks have been out of commission for the last two years even as a steady pace of tune-ups and repairs fills up the service bays. Yellow caution tape surrounds a big hole in the ground where the gas tanks used to be.
Sean Weir, president of the Cedar Grove Civic Association, said this week that he has complained to the owners and to the city about the condition of the unfinished excavation work. He said he is concerned that a child or someone else might get hurt by falling into the pit. “It looks bad enough, but I’m more concerned that it’s not properly secured,” he said.
Chris English, who serves as Mayor Menino’s liaison to the Adams Corer section of Dorchester, says he has called and written a letter to Ghazy Saab about the situation. So far, he’s had no response. “We’d like talk to him. We’d like to see if there’s any help we can provide,” English said.
Mary Kelly, president of the Adams Village Merchants Association, says other business owners are hoping Ghazy Saab will either finish the job or find a way to improve the look of the unfinished pumps. “It’s a blight in the neighborhood and it’s the broken window theory,” said Kelly. “We take pride in the way the Village looks and people are more and more concerned. We would like to see it resolved in some way.”
Weir said it would be an improvement if at least one of the two stations is up and running for the summer. “There’s no place to get gas in Adams Corner. It’s crazy,” he added.