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Mechanic duo hope to bring back old service station vibe with new Rochester repair shop

Long-time Rochester mechanics Dor See and Derik Molby opened a new repair shop – Hometown Auto Service – this week at 1724 Broadway South, next to the 63 Club bar.

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Long-time Rochester mechanics Dor See and Derik Molby opened a new repair shop – Hometown Auto Service – this week at 1724 Broadway South, next to the 63 Club bar.
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ROCHESTER — In the past, the local mechanic would know the history of a customer’s vehicle as well as the driver’s family and life when they rolled in for a tune-up or a major repair.

That’s what long-time local mechanics Dor See and Derik Molby want to bring back with their new full-service repair shop – Hometown Auto Service – on Rochester’s South Broadway.

“We understand in the automotive industry that clients are becoming numbers,” said See. “We want to build a relationship. We want to know who you are. We want to have that feel of a relationship like the old service stations used to provide. We think that’s lacking in Rochester and we want to bring it back.”

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They opened their new shop this week at 1724 Broadway South, next to the 63 Club bar. That’s the former home of G & R Auto and Truck Repair. After decades of running his business there, Larry Grimm has retired, which created an opportunity for See and Molby.

The pair have been working on cars and trucks at various shops in Rochester for about 15 years. Now they have decided that it is time to step out to open their own place.

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“The biggest thing for me is the mechanical end of it. I just enjoy fixing things that are broken," said Molby. “We’ll work on every make and model, anything with wheels and an engine.”

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Long-time Rochester mechanics Dor See and Derik Molby opened a new repair shop - Hometown Auto Service - this week at 1724 Broadway South, next to the 63 Club bar.
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The day before they officially opened for business, a man looking for someone to install a battery stopped by the shop, because larger repair businesses were backed up with appointments.

“He sat on the stool and just watched me put his battery in. He was just so thankful,” said See. ''My biggest drive is being able to see the client’s smile when you work on their vehicle and fix it.”

Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in "Heard on the Street." Send tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or via Twitter to @whereskiger . You can call him at 507-285-7798.

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Jeff Kiger writes a daily column, "Heard Around Rochester," in addition to writing articles about local businesses, Mayo Clinic, IBM, Hormel Foods, Crenlo and others. The opinions of my employer do not necessarily reflect my opinions. He has worked in Rochester for the Post Bulletin since 1999. Send tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or via Twitter to @whereskiger . You can call him at 507-285-7798.
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