Since its founding in 1978, the international quick-lube franchise Grease Monkey has maintained its focus on speedy treatments and a detail-oriented approach to auto care. Shop technicians tune up rides with services such as air-conditioning repair, air-filter replacement, and fuel- and emissions-system cleaning. Grease Monkey's signature service, though, is its full-service oil change. After replacing a vehicle's lubricant with GF-5 or re-refined motor oil, technicians perform an entire review of its maintenance needs, referencing the owner's manual and the wise hermit living in the trunk.
It’s no surprise that, at a place called “Auto Battery,” you can get a jump-start or some anti-freeze. What might be a surprise is that these are the names of drinks, and Auto Battery is a bar—a bar that decided to take on the name of the space’s previous tenant. Aside from that, though, not much of Auto Battery maintains the vibe of the garage. Nine flat-screen televisions dangle from the walls, typically projecting collegiate and professional match-ups that feature a Washington-area team. The staff looks out for non-sports fans, too; their space features shuffleboard and pool tables, skee-ball, Nintendo Wii, and a large patio. Auto Battery’s selection of specialty po dogs can certainly keep guests entertained, too: the po-roll, for one, takes on a sushi-like identity, as it’s wrapped in sushi rice paper that’s etched with tiny gills so it looks like a fish.
It would be inadequate to call Garage a bowling alley, even though bowlers roll strikes down its 20 lanes. It's also not just a pool hall, despite its 25 billiards tables, or a restaurant, even though Chef Garrett Michael Brown offers a menu with rustic pizzas and slow-roast pork ribs every night. Owners Jill Young-Rosenast and Alex Rosenast used their years of experience running venues such as RockCandy and Temple Billiards to create an all-inclusive playland for the 21-and-older crowd.
The Rosenasts carefully designed every inch of Garage's 40,000 square feet of space, an old Plymouth dealership and garage on Capitol Hill built in 1928. At first, it was primarily a pool hall, but it's been changing and expanding since day one. In addition to the fun inside, it now boasts a sprawling-but-stylish covered patio, complete with bar, so that there's no delay in dispatching cocktails and bottles from an extensive wine list. (In the winter, the space is heated.) Despite these changes, the original industrial vibe still permeates the decor. The Rosenasts filled the various spaces with high ceilings and exposed wooden trusses, which hang over accents of high-gloss automotive paint and '50s-style furniture.
Other areas seem more like art galleries. In the Echo Room—one of the Garage's private spaces—a 50-foot photo mural from photographer Nick Brandt depicts an elephant herd led by its matriarch, harkening back to a time before pachyderms came with GPS. Private events also fill the Star Lounge, which houses pool tables, six additional bowling lanes, and two of Jill's own art installations, including a display of dolls recovered from bombed factories in Eastern Bloc countries.
Valet Detail's staff of professional cleaners cajoles dirt from the exteriors and interiors of autos, motorcycles, aircraft, and marine vessels. Dust-busting techs scour vehicles with environmentally friendly products onsite and even offer on-location mobile services. When they aren't polishing sedans, techs lather up fleets of semi trucks, company SUVs, and horse-drawn shopping carts.
International Parking Management houses the four-wheeled conveyances of satisfied drivers in parking centers across Seattle, each offering guaranteed spaces and personal assistance. Seattle Mariners game-day passes secure sport-loving street sailors a comfortable place to rest their rubber, ensuring a parking space close to Safeco Field where extroverted autos can discuss floor-mat fashions with like-minded modern carriages. Should drivers ever lock their keys in the car, need assistance in changing a flat tire, or forget to turn off their headlights, International Parking Management can dispatch a partnered motor medic free of charge, keeping baseball fans on the road and hermitic dollar bills in their cozy leather confines.
Trusting an auto detailer with your car may be a decision that requires a little research, but what about when Air Force One needs a cleaning? Mike Rafael and Tom Shearer, owners of Mr. Detail Auto Salon, joined a handpicked team of auto professionals chosen to detail the first presidential jet plane, now installed at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.
When they’re not scouring a piece of American history, they work out of the shop they started together, a joint venture based on their mutual love of cars. Their services range from simple hand washes, wheel polishes, and scuff removal to more involved processes such as paint-less dent removal and fuzzy-dice randomization. Mike and Tom lead a team as they work on cars both in the shop and out of their mobile unit, which is equipped with water and electricity so vehicles can be taken care of anywhere.