Northwestern graduate cuts ribbon on auto shop

Evanston+Mayor+Elizabeth+Tisdahl+%28center%29+helps+cut+the+ribbon+on+Sam%27s+Auto+Repair+%26+Body+Shop%2C+2311+Main+St.+The+business+celebrated+its+official+opening+Wednesday+evening.+%0D%0A

Patrick Svitek/Daily Senior Staffer

Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl (center) helps cut the ribbon on Sam's Auto Repair & Body Shop, 2311 Main St. The business celebrated its official opening Wednesday evening.

Patrick Svitek, City Editor

A Northwestern graduate marked the official opening of his auto shop Wednesday evening by taking city officials on a tour of the west Evanston facility.

Adnan Hassanali (Kellogg ’12) cut the ribbon on Sam’s Auto Repair & Body Shop, 2311 Main St., with Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and Ald. Peter Braithwaite (2nd). The building features a paint-mixing room, Environmental Protection Agency-friendly lift systems and a paint booth that heats cars as they dry, leaving them with what Hassanali calls “that shiny glaze.”

He touted the shop’s attention to its customers, saying he often walks them through their vehicle’s problems in the garage rather than explaining sometimes complicated issues in the waiting room.

“We’ll physically bring you in here and show you what’s wrong with your car,” Hassanali said. “We try to always keep customers informed, even if they don’t want to get it fixed here.”

He pointed to the paint-mixing room as another standout part of the facility. Other shops may have to order color combinations from car companies, potentially increasing customers’ wait time, Hassanali said.

Tisdahl joked with Hassanali that his position is the job she has always wanted — “playing with paint.”

“I’m going to try to keep from using your services, but it’s great to see,” she told him at the end of the tour.

Hassanali said he hopes to offer free roadside assistance training for senior citizens, a service he planned while working for another shop near Loyola University Chicago.

“It’s a big push that we do for seniors,” he said. “They shouldn’t be stranded on the side of the road.”

Sam’s Auto Repair & Body Shop moved into the space last summer but was not fully functional until June, partly due to the licensing process for the paint-mixing room, Hassanali said.

He credited Kellogg with giving him the drive to stick with the business as it took shape.

“My professor was always like, ‘Set up a project, give it a deadline,'” Hassanali said. “It kept me on task.”

The auto shop is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

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