4 FEBRUARY 22, 2018 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
Well-known gas station owners set to retire
BY RYAN KELLEY
Since 1976, Gunther Duy and
Ralph Barone have gotten to
know just about everyone in
the Middle Village and Rego Park
communities through their small
service center on Woodhaven Boulevard
— but at the end of the month, the
duo will retire.
According to Duy, the longtime business
partners will walk away from
the Gunral Service Center when their
lease is up on Feb. 28. Duy and Barone
are truly embedded in the community:
both grew up in the area, and over the
42 years they have been in business,
their customers have included multiple
generations from local families.
Duy said having customers that trust
them is what allowed them to continue
working for this long.
“It was a lot easier years ago,” Duy
said. “Now you have to, like any other
business, be very conscious of cost and
inventory and dependent on return
A combination of factors led to the
decision to retire, Duy said, including
the fact that he is 68 years old and the
time feels right. There is also Barone’s
two-hour commute from Commack,
New York, every day and the rising
costs of running a business that is
constantly changing with the industry.
Gunral Service Center is operated by
Duy and Barone, but the land is owned
by Alliance Energy LLC, a subsidiary
of Global Partners LP. In 2015, Global
Partners completed an acquisition of 97
Mobil- and Exxon-branded gas stations
in New York and Maryland, which included
Gunral Service Center. Duy said
that they have had to pay more fees to
Global since the acquisition on top of
the rent for their lease.
Duy also cited changes in consumer
habits as a challenge to the business.
With a wide array of parts available
on the internet for lower prices, Duy
said that customers oft en purchase
their own parts online and bring
them to the shop rather than have
Duy and Barone decide which parts
While Duy said he has plenty of
things he can do to stay busy in retirement,
he admitted that he has been too
tied up with the move-out process to
think about it. He also has to break the
news to all of his longtime customers
when they stop by.
“Everyone that comes in is heartbroken,”
Duy said. “They had so much
faith in us and relied on us for so many
years. You grow a lasting relationship
and its hard to break away. I’m working
on customers’ grandkids’ cars.”
Duy said that the service center will
continue to operate under new leadership
once they leave. Global Partners
has not yet returned a request for
comment about how the station will
be managed as of March 1.
Ridgewood Property Owners & Civic Association
General Membership Meeng
Thursday, March 1st at 7:00 pm
Ridgewood Presbyterian Church
59-14 70 Avenue
1/4 block East of Forest Avenue
Entrance from side parking lot – no steps
I put my chicken
Please welcome Ms. Mara Moss who will explain the DSNY
FREE bags of mulch for members’ house plants and gardens.
Also, FREE reusable grocery bags.
The Clock in the Square
Councilman Reynoso needs Ridgewood to come out to his
in the Square
Catered sandwiches & salads by Frank’s Deli (Maspeth)
Courtesy of Kerzner Realty, Inc.
Image via Google Maps
The Greater Ridgewood Historical Society
Last Chance until Dec 2018!
Saturday, March 3, 2018
From 6 – 9 PM
Join us for a special evening of candlelight
The MackSings Band
Mulled Cider and Sweet Treats
Members, Service Families
and Veterans - Free
AT THE ONDERDONK HOUSE
1820 FLUSHING AVENUE,
Supported in part, by public funds from
the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs,
in partnership with the City Council
Antonio Reynoso and Elizabeth Crowley, Council Members
1820 Flushing Avenue, Ridgewood, Corner of Flushing and Onderdonk Avenues.
Subway: L to Jefferson Street, then walk five blocks north along Flushing Avenue.
Bus: Q54 to Flushing and Metropolitan Avenues. B57 to Flushing and Onderdonk Avenues.