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Williams Service Station to Close

Current owner says he will probably be looking for a job 'fairly soon.'

It's the end of an era for Bob Shultz, the man who has pumped gas for customers at Williams Service Station in Brewster for 64 years.

Bob—who owned the business before his son Gary Shultz took over, and after his father-in-law ran it—said Tuesday Williams is shutting its doors for good, within the next month or so. Gas was not available this week, but the station was open for repairs.

When asked if he was upset over the closing, the 83-year-old said "yes and no."

"I don't like being pushed out, but I did well here," he said, noting that he knows a handful of people wherever he goes.

Bob and Gary cited an ongoing issue with the New York State Department of Conservation. They declined to provide details. Patch contacted the agency, but representatives did not provide any comment.

A "for sale" sign is hanging in the window, and the property is listed for $1.3 million here.

While Patch was at the shop, a couple of customers popped in and asked why the pumps were empty. Some folks were visibly upset when they heard the news, according to Bob.

"A lot of women crying," he said. "There's nobody that pumps gas for them anymore, and I did." 

Village of Brewster Mayor Jim Schoenig was surprised to pass by one day recently and see there was no line of customers stretching up Michael Nuener Drive. The station was known for providing the cheapest gallon around. Prices attracted so many people that neighbors complained of chaos and blocked driveways.

Next door at Xtra Mart—where gas sales nearly doubled the day Williams shut off its pumps, according to management—the longstanding business was a topic of conversation all week.

"I felt pretty bad," clerk Daniel Reyes said. "He [Bob] was sad. I saw it in his face."

A resident of Brewster, Bob doesn't see himself sticking around for much longer. He may go south to one of the Carolinas.

Gary's future is up in the air, too.

"I'll probably be looking for a job fairly soon," he said.

whycant wegetalong May 10, 2013 at 11:30 PM
I think its disgusting what the town of Brewster did, so backhanded!
Larry Rubin May 11, 2013 at 12:16 AM
"Town of Brewster"? Where is that? And what did this fictitious town do?
Luanne Manteo May 11, 2013 at 12:27 AM
This is a shame. Been buying gas there for 25 years. Always had a smile on his face! Enjoy your retirement, you earned it!
CK May 11, 2013 at 01:12 AM
Larry: LOL!!! Excellent!
Ann Fanizzi May 11, 2013 at 09:07 AM
Aside from the DEC issues, whatever they may be, perhaps Bob saw another formidable competitor on the horizon: the Lepler Crossroads 312 mega-project which envisions a gas station connected to a major discount retailer, sucking business out of the village along with his station. He's getting out while the getting is good.
barbara May 11, 2013 at 10:52 AM
How absolutely awful! I always admired him. When he could of jacked the price way up he was not greedy and didn't. He once told me he owns the property so why should he not give people a break!
barbara May 11, 2013 at 10:54 AM
Thank you Ashley.....keep on digging ! Our residents need to know exactly what happened to this business!
Robert Salinger May 11, 2013 at 12:06 PM
Competition is always good. We will be minus one more station. This has nothing to do with a "mega station" several miles away. Location, location and service.
Peter Benfield May 11, 2013 at 12:53 PM
They told me the DEC inspector has it in for them. Failing them for a brand new tank the DEC already had passed. They have received a lot of pressure for having much lower prices, and they believe that the "big oil" gas stations nearby wanted them out. The inspector told them fighting with legal action would be useless as they would tie them up in court for years. This is a classic case of the little, local guy being crushed by the big guy. They need help from people who can stop this. Greg Ball, where are you?
Anthony May 11, 2013 at 01:31 PM
This is terrible,another example of too much government. Our local representatives need to step up and help these people. We should all be outraged! It can be YOU next.
L. T. Jewell May 11, 2013 at 03:27 PM
A case of the DEQ and big business destroying the local small business owner who provides excellent service at a reasonable, non price-gouging cost. Bob wasn't afraid to do business the fair, old fashioned way, and it is unfair and shameful that this has happened. Bob Shultz is the hardest working, kindest guy I ever met. Having this longtime business close is a big loss for Brewster.
whycant wegetalong May 11, 2013 at 03:37 PM
Anthony outraged is right! I am ! I do wish him well and a happy retirement! He deserves it
joe post May 11, 2013 at 04:23 PM
Brewster won't be the same, is a landmark like Kobackers,Bob's diner,Norms etc.
whycant wegetalong May 11, 2013 at 07:12 PM
Lt jewell, i cant believe no one is stepping up for Mr. Shultz .I am embarrassed to say the least of the "politics" Brewster has become!
Fran Casey May 11, 2013 at 11:01 PM
So Sad. I have many memories of hanging at Bob's as a teenager. All his children's friends hung out at the station from the late 1960's to late 70's. Some still go there. My best to Uncle Bob and Gary.
catherine o'meara May 12, 2013 at 12:57 AM
This is disgraceful that a longtime business owner is being treated this way .Where is the outrage from the community. Shame on Brewster Village for allowing this to happen. Where is the leadership or politicans that have not spoken up about this. I guess it not election time? It is very sad to see another black eye for Brewster. Dan &Cathy O'Meara
Laura May 12, 2013 at 04:01 AM
Since I moved up to Patterson 7 years ago from Westchester, Williams has been my gas station. I filled my tank at least twice a week - for 7 years commuting back to Westchester 6 days a week. They made it affordable. I believe in supporting the little guy and was proud to support a family that cared about their customers. They didn't believe in charging more for gas then they should and they made money. It is a very sad time for our area. Thank you Shultz family!
lillian philbin May 12, 2013 at 02:22 PM
I agree with everyone. This town, village or whatever it really is, is the worst place for small business. There is no community because we have been trod on by the politicians and their cronies . It could have been a lovely place.
Kenneth Gralak May 13, 2013 at 10:27 AM
I drove from Stormville to get the best price in the area. Always friendly. Will be missed.
Ann Fanizzi May 13, 2013 at 01:52 PM
According to poster on Brewster 10509 -filed for bankruptcy.
timetofightback May 14, 2013 at 01:50 AM
We need to rise up people, tyranny under the guise of environmentalism is still tyranny! We all love the environment but we have given to much power to these groups over our lives and businesses.
Kevin Feeney May 16, 2013 at 09:08 PM
The crooked DEC is behind Williams Service closing. The New York State government has been bleeding this small business dry for years. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent for upgrades and repairs at the Williams service station. Bob and Gary deserved better! Shame on New York State!

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