Side Street Garage Welcomes New Owners

The Beckers, new owners of the Side Street Garage, stand in front of the business located in downtown Chelsea.

By: Seth Kinker, 

Pete Becker’s passion has always been in mechanics and on Oct. 9 with the purchase of the local Side Street Garage, he ensured he’ll get to continue working with his passion.

“I’ve been doing this since 1994,” said Becker. “I tried to get away a couple times. It’s just what I do. Its second nature, it’s a good living.”

Becker, an Ann Arbor native, owns another garage in Saline in addition to the Side Street Garage. He sold another garage he owned that was located in Ann Arbor in Feb., and when the garage in Saline wasn’t producing enough work, he decided to look for other work.

“I tried fleet mechanics,” said Becker. “A big landscape company working on their equipment. I tried truck driving, selling parts. (Working on cars), it’s what I do.”

Becker decided to buy another business and around the time he began looking, Dan and Bobbie Hoffenbecker the prior owners of Side Street Garage for the last 23 years, were looking at retiring and selling the Side Street Garage

“We’re hoping to retire but want to sell first,” Bobbie Hoffenbecker told the Chelsea Update in Jun. 2018. “That’s the best solution for everybody. Whoever buys this business will make a decent living, and our customers will have a place to go that we trust.”

“We heard about it (Sidestreet Garage) when he was starting to not like the work thing and we came and talked to them,” said Debra Becker, Pete’s wife. “He was kind of debating it but where he was working wasn’t enough to keep him busy and he’s not one to sit still and not have something to do. It kind of worked out that nothing was working out.”

On Sept. 20, the Becker’s and Hoffenbecker’s finalized the purchase and on Oct. 9 the Becker’s officially took over as owners of Sidestreet Garage.

“Welcome Pete and Debra Becker, the new owners of Side Street Garage. Dan and Bobbie wish you the best as they start all their new adventures.” Said a Facebook post on Oct. 9 from the Sidestreet Garage Facebook page.

Debra had helped at one of his prior shops but will be stepping in to help around the office now that Pete has two garages once again

“We like Chelsea and the customers,” said Debra on taking over the longstanding Chelsea business. “We really like the customers Bobbie and Dan have built up their customer base with. All of them are very friendly, nice, and super excited to meet us. I like that the best, they come in and excited. It’s nice Bobbie and Dan were telling everyone we were taking over, and it wasa nice reaction that everybody seemed excited about it.”

The Becker’s will continue general maintenance and auto repair but will not be doing body work on vintage cars.

As of right now, the hours will stay the same, M-Th/ 8-5:30 and Fri/8-4,  with Debra telling The Sun Times they were thinking about adding Saturday’s to the days they would be open.

The Hoffenbecker’s may be retiring, but they’ll still be around.

“They left in a hurry to go on vacation,” said Pete. “They left some knick-knacks. Dan’s still gonna come in sometimes, I’m sure Bobbie will too.”

“Dan did say he wanted to be able to come in and hang out and help us out some,” added Debra.

Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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