OAK FOREST, IL — Local businesses across the country are being hit with financial burdens and possibly closing down amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, Oak Forest business owner, Robert Warren, celebrates his automotive shop being open for exactly one year.
On Oct. 1, 2019, Warren’s Automotive, 5135 W. 159th St., opened in Oak Forest. The automotive shop was previously opened as R/S Automotive, at the same location, but had closed in January of 2016. The owner decided to reopen the shop when residents would ask him to come back.
“People would see me around and ask me to come back. They didn’t trust other automotive shops and thought they might be getting ripped off,” Warren said. “They know that I will be very honest with them and say exactly what might be wrong and how much it would cost.”
Warren said when the owner of the property contacted him about coming back and renting out the former R/S building, it was an easy decision for him to make. The businessman said auto repair is something he’s done his whole life and that reopening was meant to happen.
Fast-forward to 356 days later and Warren’s not only opened, but it stayed open amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s not easy being in business… one year is a huge accomplishment. Especially with everything going on,” Warren said. “I am a big supporter of local businesses and think many people around here are too.”
Warren took to Facebook to share his feelings on reopening his business. He said he wishes his parents could see him now.
Warren’s advice to other small business owners and to those who want to start a small business is to stay focused and don’t overreact.
“There will always be obstacles in the way, no matter what you do,” Warren said. “I have been working for 15-16 years in the automotive industry and I can tell you it is a roller coaster of ups and downs. Don’t focus on your checkbook, focus on the grind and know that you can do it.”
The shop provides the same service R/S did for decades. Warren’s Automotive is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday. On weekends, the shop is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and closed on Sundays.
For more information on Warren’s Automotive, visit its Facebook page or call 708-690-2600.