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Washed up — not!


When ASS first stumbled across this quaint abandoned carwash at John R and East Palmer, we were charmed by what we described as its “cozy, Alpine feel,” where “one would expect not only a fine car wash, but fresh cookies and milk with each purchase.”

We suggested “someone buy it and set up a grandma-run cookie and craft stand.” Well, when ASS revisited the place on a recent sunny day, we were thrilled to find new co-owner Bobby Livatt out front, hard at work on renovations!

But instead of the grandma sweets shop ASS envisioned, Livatt has instead decided to turn the abandoned hand car wash into … a renovated hand car wash! You know what they say: If it ain’t broke, don’t sell cookies. Or something like that.

Livatt says he’s partnered up with Randy Lathom, who has owned the building for 15 years.

Gone is the urban foliage that once dotted the front of the building; and after slapping on a new coat of paint, it looks like a cozy home. In fact, Livatt says it was once the carriage house to a large mansion that has been replaced by a concrete parking lot.

Livatt, a native Virginian, is financing the project with his own money, and felt the time was right to take on a renovation project.

“There’s a lot of growth in this area,” says Livatt. “When I came to Detroit in 1998 it was like a ghost town after 5. There’s change coming — you can feel it in the air.”

Sarah Klein is a Metro Times staff writer. E-mail her at

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