After announcing closure in March, then pursuing a building purchase in the hopes of staying open, Ostlund’s Marine Garage has closed for good.
“We tried to purchase the building and it didn’t work out,” John Ostlund told the Messenger. “It has to be a smart business decision. We’ve been there for a long time and when that happens you start making emotional decisions. Heck, we have great customers. We had a great business going. Our last day of business was July 31 and that was a record month. It was hard but I feel like I made the right business decision.”
Ostlund initially worked for building owner Wally Carlson & Sons, Inc. as an employee, then leased the building for nearly two decades.
Wally Carlson & Sons still hopes to sell the building, ideally to a mechanic. The building has served as a mechanic’s shop since 1923. Until it sells, the Carlsons plan to keep pay-at-the-pump fuel service.
Ostlund said he hasn’t ruled out opening a shop in the future, but is not making any decisions in haste.
“What we’re doing now is nothing,” he told the Messenger jokingly. “My wife and I started talking about opening another shop. I went to school to be an auto mechanic and we enjoyed what we were doing. I enjoyed working on the cars. I miss that. I would love to have another shop.
“I have a customer interested in selling me some land,” he continued. “We got excited about it but it was just too much. I’ve never closed a business before, but there’s a lot to it and to try to open another shop was overwhelming all at once. We decided not to do anything for the month of September. We’re taking some time off to relax and think about it.”