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Full-serve gas station closes while another opens

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NEW BERLIN, UNION COUNTY (WOLF) -- Full-service gas stations are hard to find these days, and one more just closed this past week in Union County.

But in Northumberland County, one full-serve station is also opening.

These days, most people pump their own gas, which you can also do after hours at the new full-serve station. But for one gas station we visited earlier today, that business just wasn't making it anymore.

Neighbors say the DJ's Service in New Berlin was more than a place for fill-ups and car repairs.

"I'll probably miss seeing all the older people come and they were forever drinkin' coffee, out here talkin," says neighbor Amy Young. "Like an everyday thing. 7:30. They were all parked out here."

It closed last Sunday. Today, one customer who used to live nearby stopped to take some pictures.

"Sorry to see it closing. It's just kind of a neighborhood thing where everybody just gathered around here and you felt like a neighbor," says Art Yerger from Kratzerville.

Yerger says he's been coming here since the '60s, bringing his cars to the owner, D.J. Mapes, for repairs.

"I wasn't one of the coffee drinker,s but yeah, I'd come in, got an appointment to have something done with my car, and I'd sit around and talk for an hour or two while they were working at it. And it was not a place where you had to hurry out," says Yerger.

"I know the older people that would have their gas pumped here, they're they're probably gonna miss that, because they never did have to get out of their car on the cold snowy days or anything like that. He was always out here," says Young.

Customers say the owner is in his 60s, and the cars themselves and the economics of this business have been changing. A new gas station, Harry's, also opened nearby within the past year.

"He lost his mechanic. His mechanic retired that worked with him here for years, many years, so I guess he just figured it was just time to give it up," says Yerger.

Meantime, about 40 minutes away, a new full-service station just opened near Shamokin about a month ago on Route 61, east of town.

"The reason why we went full-service is because we think the business would be better," says owner Vinny Clausi. "You pump gas to the people. We check oil, clean the windshield."

Clausi says he's retired from his construction business, and is opening the station, Full Service 122, LLC, for his daughter to run.

"Let me put it this way: a lot of the senior citizens, they don't want to pump their own gas, and we thought it needs," says Clausi. "We're doing very well, we getting busier and busier every day."

He says the station is offering full-serve from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the diesel area for trucks is self-serve.

We also spoke with one woman who says there's a full serve in Mifflinburg too. As for the station in New Berlin, a sign out front says it's up for sale.

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