After 87 years of operation, a beloved and iconic family-owned business in Fountain Hill bid a fond farewell to its customers–many of whom became dear friends over the years–with a closing day gathering on Saturday, Feb. 25.
Friedman’s Service Center supplied gasoline–for many years under the Texaco name–and performed auto repairs for generations of Hillers.
With third-generation owner Bruce Friedman now ready to retire, however, the business and property on which it sits were recently sold.
Bruce said he plans to continue working in some capacity, as well as spend some time visiting family in other parts of the country with his wife, Karen, who also played an integral role in running the business.
Despite the fact that the Friedman family will no longer be involved in the local business community, Saturday’s party for friends and family was a happy occasion, when loyal patrons stopped by the station to express gratitude for the high-quality service they always enjoyed.
The Friedman family served their guests hundreds of hot dogs and posed for photos by local media who covered the event, as well as with Fountain Hill Community Coalition board members who presented them with a plaque honoring their place in borough business history.
The coalition recently announced that it also plans to petition Fountain Hill Borough Council to name the triangular piece of land on which the gas station is located after the Friedmans, who opened their business there in 1936.
In the early years of the service center’s operation, a cup-shaped ice cream stand stood on the triangle’s “point,” which is at the intersection of Broadway and Itaska Street, where the Friedman’s sign and electronic message board are located today.
With nearly a century of working on cars and selling gas as part of their legacy, some who stopped by Friedman’s Saturday remarked that the family could easily write a book about all of the changes to the automobile industry over the years, as well as their impact on business.
One thing that never changed–upon which all agreed–was the friendly, reliable service they could always count on at Friedman’s.
Vintage photos of Friedman’s from over the years can be found on the Friedman’s Service Center Facebook page.
Along with Friedman’s, another well-known, family-owned business on Broadway in nearby Bethlehem also recently announced its closure.
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