The Island Now

Queens men propose first-of-its-kind car wash in Mineola

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Posted: Thursday, September 22, 2016 10:34 am

Two Queens men want to open a car wash in Mineola they say would be the first of its kind in the country.

Supreme Steam Auto Detail would use the Optima Steamer, a new device that uses just a gallon of water per car, at Benjamin Musheyev and Jason Lugo’s facility at 99 Jericho Turnpike.

The environmentally friendly device uses high-powered steam to loosen dirt and grime that gets wiped up with a cloth, using no chemicals and wasting no water, Musheyev said. 

“In reality we’re actually helping the community, helping the world, saving the world, and we’re not wasting the amount of water that a regular car wash would,” Musheyev told the Mineola Village Board on Wednesday.

Musheyev and Lugo decided to open a steam car wash after seeing how much money was wasted on water in commercial power washing, a business Lugo was in for five years. 

Some other U.S. businesses bring the steamer to clients, but this would be the first stationary site for cars, Musheyev said.

Supreme Steam’s menu of services includes eight packages ranging from a $15, 10-minute basic car wash to a $200, hour-long bundle that includes waxing and polishing. The steamer also cleans car interiors and engines, Musheyev said.

Musheyev and Lugo would turn the building on the 4,000 square-foot property, the former home of Liffco Power Equipment, into a modern, high-class waiting room serving coffee and other beverages, Musheyev said. 

Drivers would enter on the adjacent Maple Avenue, pull their car into one of six parking spaces, wait inside until their wash is done and exit onto Jericho Turnpike, Musheyev said.

“I never left a car wash happy, and I think any of you guys would agree with me, there’s always something you have to clean,” he said.

Musheyev and Lugo want to keep Supreme Steam open 24 hours, or possibly as late as midnight, to capture business from taxi drivers and others who work late, Musheyev said, noting the BP gas station next door never closes.

But village trustees questioned whether they could sustain a 24-hour business and whether such hours would suit the adjacent residential neighborhood. 

Trustee Dennis Walsh said he was concerned about cars backing up on Maple Avenue and possibly onto Jericho Turnpike, and he wondered where Supreme Steam’s up to 20 employees would park.

“Interacting with the neighborhood 24 hours a day is not something I would consider a good thing for the people that live in the neighborhood,” Walsh said.

Cars stuck in long lines would be offered appointments to come back later that day or another day,  Musheyev said.

The property has $1,700 in parking ticket judgments and building summonses dating back to March 2000, village Building Superintendent Daniel Whalen said. 

Musheyev said he does not own the property and was only aware of a few of the building issues.

Musheyev and Lugo are longtime best friends and chose Mineola partly because Musheyev’s uncle, Dr. Ari Druz, owns PM Dental Care at 121 Jericho Turnpike, they said.

Druz spoke on his nephew’s behalf Wednesday, saying he and Lugo are “two very outstanding people.”

“We would be very fortunate to have them as a contributing part of this community,” Druz said.

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