Popular Bethesda car service center moves -- Gazette.Net







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Fans of Eastham’s Auto Service Center in Bethesda can visit it again at a new location, albeit without the gas station it used to run.

Steve Embrey, manager of the service station, said the business has been operating in a leased location at 7725 Old Georgetown Road for about six weeks.

“This was a previous station that had closed up,” he said.

Eastham’s Exxon used to sell gasoline and service cars at 7100 Wisconsin Ave. The gas station opened in 1929, but it stopped selling gas in 2012 and then moved out to make way for an apartment building, The Gazette previously reported.

The new Eastham’s location doesn’t sell gas, Embrey said, but offers the same auto repair and care services that the Wisconsin Avenue location did.

Eastham’s is one of several gas stations to close in downtown Bethesda in the past few years as property owners replace them with luxury condominiums, apartments, offices or banks, The Gazette reported last year.

The station has been a Bethesda institution for decades and has been in the Eastham family since 1929. It was taken over by Bob Easham in the 1960s after his father, Robert Eastham Sr., had a heart attack.

Bob Eastham’s efforts helped the station score a series of customer service awards from the Washington, Maryland, Delaware Service Station and Automotive Repair Association. The station was taken out of the running after it won several years in a row, and the award was renamed in honor of Robert Eastham Sr. A pocket park around the corner on Leland Avenue is named for him.

Washington Property Co. is building the Solaire Bethesda at 7100 Wisconsin Ave. The property has been fenced off, some trees have been cut and construction on the 12-story apartment building is expected to begin in August, according to the company’s website.