Popular car repair shop Larry's AutoWorks closed down Friday and there are no plans for it to reopen. Owner Larry Moore told the Voice on Monday that he and his wife had decided to retire after lining up the sale of their shop at 2526 Leghorn St.
The closure of a business that's been a Mountain View institution for 45 years came as a surprise on Friday, March 17, when Moore and his business partner and wife Laurie created a voicemail message and Facebook post pointing customers to other shops for auto work.
Speaking to the Voice on Monday, Larry Moore said they decided to get the closure over with quickly rather than having a prolonged, painful shutdown. Moore, who is 72, said he was already looking to retire. Last week, the shop finished its last round of repair jobs and vendor payments, and then they decided to close down for good, he said.
"We could have gone on and on, but why do that? This seemed like the easiest way to do it," Moore said. "It seemed like the right time."
It might go without saying that the 1-acre auto shop is a lucrative piece of land, located just a short walk from Google's North Bayshore campus. Moore said he could not disclose who is buying the property or what the new owner planned to do with it.
Moore has been upfront that his auto shop and other small tradesmen have been struggling amid the tech-fueled economic surge that has played out in Mountain View over recent years. In a 2014 article in the Silicon Valley Business Journal, Moore said his business was doing about $2 million in business annually, yet he was still struggling to retain mechanics and increase his bottom line.
Over its long history, Larry's AutoWorks maintained a popularity that would be the envy of many entrepreneurs. For 16 years straight, Voice readers voted the auto shop the "Best of Mountain View," and its social-media pages offer ample testimony to its loyal following.
The closure was truly bittersweet, Moore said.
"It's hard to think about not having Larry's AutoWorks. It's part of who I am," Moore said.