Kirkwood gets first 24-hour filling station
After an eight-month closure, a revamped and bigger Leo Motors petrol station in Kirkwood will open on Wednesday, just days before the annual Wildsfees kicks off.
The new Engen Leo Motors will be the town’s first 24-hour filling station, boasting a Zebro’s Chicken outlet and a tuck shop with a deli.
Station owner Andre Barnard said he had in previous years taken note of business opportunities during the Wildsfees, hence the timing of the station’s opening.
“I was working at the station during the Wildsfees in 2018, and a lot of visitors kept asking where they could find a nice place to eat at a filling station,” Barnard said.
“I promised this one man he would have a different experience when he returned for the 2019 Wildsfees.”
Barnard bought the station in 2016.
“We will be doing a test run to see if running it for 24 hours will be profitable and then decide from there,” he said.
The new station will employ about 50 workers, including petrol attendants, cashiers and management, and the development process created about 200 jobs, Barnard said.
During the closure, residents used Kirkwood Motors, also owned by Barnard.
“Now that this project is done, I’m looking to develop Kirkwood Motors too,” he said.