Car care center to replace El Rodeo

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Ken Towery's expanding into Elizabethtown

By Marty Finley

A tire and auto care company with numerous locations in Louisville and a presence in Shepherdsville is expanding south.

The Elizabethtown Planning Commission has conditionally approved a plan for construction of a Ken Towery’s Tire & AutoCare facility at 1105 N. Dixie Ave., which is the former home of El Rodeo Mexican restaurant in Lakeshore Plaza.

Ed Poppe, city planning director, said the authorization came with the conditions the company finish certain measures, such as finalizing grading and utility plans.

Poppe said the restaurant property, now vacant, likely will be demolished to make way for the facility.

“It will be an attractive building,” he said of the location. “It will match well” with everything else in the area.

Poppe did not have exact estimates available for the size of the facility but said it will be approximately 8,000 square feet.

Kris Towery, zone manager for Ken Towery’s, said the company has an interest in Elizabethtown because of its consistent growth pattern, recognizing a need for its services in the market.

“We feel it’s a little underserved for quality auto and tire services,” he said.

Towery said the company has been courting Elizabethtown since it started its expansion roughly three years ago and said the location is beneficial because it will be situated in a highly visible and trafficked area.

Towery declined to put a timeline on the opening of the new store because of potential weather and zoning delays, but said it should be available and ready for business by early fall.

A typical Ken Towery’s employs 10 to 12 workers and Towery said some prospective applicants already are contacting his office about job openings because they heard about the new store.

“The word is getting out and people want to work with (us),” he said.

Towery said one technician at the Shepherdsville store lives in Elizabethtown and wants to transfer to the new location.

“He’s just waiting for the store to open,” he said.

Those interested in applying for a job at the new store should contact the company directly at (502) 499-9599.

Ken Towery’s has 28 locations, including three in southern Indiana with more being built every day, Towery said. According to its website, the company’s founder, Ken Towery, opened his first store, a Firestone tire outlet, in 1971. Today, the company proclaims itself a “Kentuckiana institution.”

Ken Towery’s stocks more than a dozen tire brands for all sizes of vehicles and offers complete car care, from scheduled maintenance to more “expert” repairs, according to the website.

The company was purchased last year by Monro Muffler Brake Inc., the largest chain of company-operated undercar care facilities in the country with more than 940 stores in nearly two dozen states. However, the Towery family still is involved in the management of the group, according to Ken Towery’s official website.

Towery said the company is excited to anchor in Elizabethtown, offering new customers their brand of customer service and giving regular customers a closer option than Shepherdsville.

“We can’t wait to open the store,” he said.

Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.