With reporting by Mike Cohen

The much anticipated Shell Gas Station and car wash with a Boni Soir convenience store finally opened for business yesterday after a long delay since the closure of the previous self-serve gas bar.

This new facility sits in the northwest corner of the Cavendish Mall parking lot. Many residents have been asking when the station would finally open. There were many delays, most recently for Hydro-Quebec connections.

Pumps

Councillors Kovac and Nashen, Regional Manager Jacynthe Poulin, Mayor Brownstein, Councillor Mike Cohen and Operator/Owner Miriam and Alaedine Gouader

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Councillors Mike Cohen and Ruth Kovac joined me on opening day. The Cavendish Mall property borders on each of our districts. The entire facility is under the umbrella of Sobeys, the company which owns IGA. Territory manager Jacynthe Poulin was on hand with franchise operator Alaedine Gouader accompanied by his wife Miriam. We were very impressed with the operation, as were the excited clients walking in for their very first time.

Inside

Inside the Boni Soir

The conveniently located self-serve gas station will be open from 5 am to 11 pm, seven days a week.

Most impressive is the effort to erect bilingual signage throughout the new facility. Even the gas pumps are bilingual, language selection at the push of a button. This is hardly the case at surrounding self-serve stations so kudos to the new Shell Boni Soir operator.

Carwash

Watching the very first vehicle going through the colourfully illuminated car wash

The Boni Soir has freshly baked muffins and danishes prepared on the premises each day. What’s more, they are kosher! A 12 ounce cup of coffee will be available free for the first two weeks.

Plenty of staff serving customers

Plenty of staff serving customers

There is is a full array of snacks and dairy products. In addition they will soon have an alcohol permit.

Parents and their little ones were already crowding around the slush and candy machines. This is a nice-sized building, with a few tables and chairs for clients to enjoy a quick snack. There’s even a large public washroom, complete with a changing table. You can buy lotto tickets and use the BMO ATM machine as well.

Fresh baked Kosher muffins and pastry and gourmet coffee

Fresh baked Kosher muffins and pastry and gourmet coffee

Poulin pointed out that the car wash is completely touch-less and waste water is recycled and reused. Not only are there multi-coloured lights illuminating the car wash interior, even the soap is sprayed onto the vehicles in three colours. “It’s more fun for the kids,” Poulin said.

To add to the unique lighting, the colours will be adjusted to match the holiday or occasion, Poulin said with excitement. “Orange for Halloween, Christmas colours, any colour for any holiday,” she said.

Plenty of dairy products and cold drinks

Plenty of dairy products and cold drinks

When was the last time Côte Saint-Luc had a car wash? How about the old BP on CSL Road, which turned into a Petro Canada and then closed about two decades ago. I also recall driving through the old Texaco car wash across from the CSL Shopping Centre in the 60s and early 70s. The car tire would be snagged by a chain as the car was pulled past the Jetson-like machinery. Many people would exit their cars and walk along a glass encased corridor and follow their vehicle until it popped out on the other side.

Operator-Owner Alaedine and Miriam Gouader

Operator-Owner Alaedine and Miriam Gouader

Islem Amar Khodja set up a small kiosk in the Boni Soir to provide samples of his company`s delicious  gluten free nuts. The brand is call Royal Nuts and he has a number of packages on the shelf to choose from. Interestingly, these nuts are prepared in a “peanut free” facility.

Candy machines

Candy machines

This local store will quickly become a convenient hub of activity to run to for a quick snack, a jug of milk or a coffee and muffin along with a fill-up. Congratulations to Alaedine. Welcome to the neighbourhood.