At some point in your Sequim tenure, it’s likely you’ve filled up on gas or food at Kettel’s 76 station and Car Wash, 194 W. Washington St. The station has been an institution under the Kettel name in Sequim for more than 45 years.
Now Gary Kettel, owner, is ready to move on. He officially sold the business on May 8 to Singh and Ramesh Khela of Moses Lake.
“It’s time to try new endeavors,” Kettel said. He works for 7 Cedars Casino in its maintenance department part time and hopes to use his time devoted to the station to his family.
Kettel’s has been a part of the family since 1967 when Lawrence Kettel, Gary’s dad, bought the station and later began operating a stove oil delivery business.
The station has seen many additions in its years, including operating a two-bay auto shop from 1967-1993 and installing a rollover car wash in 1980.
Lawrence purchased property in 1983 from Mary Brown’s estate to open two self-service car wash bays and six years later installed a tunnel car wash.
He retired in 1993 and sold the business to Gary, who two years later converted the auto shop into a convenience store, began serving espresso in 1997 and remodeled and added a deli in 2010.
New owner Singh Khela finds the history of Kettel’s highly important.
“Everything will stay the same,” Khela said.
“It’s a big deal and we want to keep it that way.”
Khela, a former airline worker and hotel owner, plans to move to from Moses Lake with his wife, Ramesh, and sons Hap and Sunny. He said buying the station was a new venture and they plan to keep all the employees and accounts.
Through his years of ownership, Lawrence Kettel is proud of his tenure at the station.
“I’m most proud of the (hundreds of) kids I helped and I watched many of them go off to college,” he said. “That gave me the most satisfaction.”
Gary Kettel held a similar sentiment.
“I’m proud I was able to see my dad retire and enjoy retirement,” he said.
Kettel’s is one of two independently owned gas stations in town.
It started as a Mobil, changed to 76, BP and back to a 76 station.
For more information, call 683-6226.