AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) - Augusta prepares to say goodbye to a local business that has been a staple in the community for generations.  Smith's Chevron, the CSRA's only full-service gas station, will be closing its doors in May. The long-running local business made the announcement on its Facebook page Wednesday.  Smith's Chevron has been serving the CSRA for nearly forty years. Its last day in operation will be May 24, 2023.

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FOX54’S Lauren Young took us to Smith’s Chevron in its final days of operation.

For decades, motorists in the CSRA have been able to visit Smith’s Chevron on the corner of Walton Way Extension and Wheeler Road for full service and a full experience. 

“It’s been around so long, first of all, that it’s just been a figure in a lot of people’s lives for a long, long time,” said employee Andrew McLaughlin.

Andrew McLaughlin has worked at the station for two years, just like his father did before.  But the family tradition doesn’t end there. Brent Smith says he has no relation to the owner of Smith’s Chevron, but his family has trusted the shop and been treated like family for as long as he can recall.  “Oh, for years…we just trust them. They do quality work,” he said.

“We do honest work around here. You come up here, you want full-service gas, we’ll get you full-service gas. You need your car fixed, we’ll get it fixed and we won’t charge you for anything you don’t need to be charged for,” McLaughlin added.  But owner Tommy Smith recently announced he’s closing his doors and hanging up the pump.  “I guess it’s time. Everybody has to retire. But they will be certainly missed by a lot, a lot of people,” customer Brent Smith told FOX54.

Not ready just yet to retire is Jimmie Sanders, an employee at Smith’s for 32 years. He says Augusta’s little piece of nostalgia-fueled history is something unique.

“The full service is one thing. You can’t get it anywhere else in the state,” said Sanders. Or in most of the country. Full-service gas stations quickly gave way to self-serve in the 1960s, after a meeting of the Fire Marshals Association of America and an amendment to its national fire protection code.

Smith’s Chevron in Augusta was a hold-out, even after changing ownership in 1986.

In a world where everything changes quickly, customers at Smith’s have long appreciated what this place has to offer.  “We’ve stayed the same all these years, doing the same things. That’s what keeps people coming back,” Sanders said.  “It’s kind of nice, the hometown southern hospitality. I love it,” customer Harriett Sol said.

Many of the employees at Smith’s Chevron have already accepted positions at other local repair shops, so while these doors are closing on May 24th, you’ll be able to find your trusted mechanics somewhere else in the CSRA.

No word yet on what’s next for the property on Walton Way Extension, but stay tuned to FOX54 and we’ll be sure to keep you in the know.

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