An old lot that contained two abandoned houses and a neglected bungalow has been transformed into a new, state-of-the art offering for Port car owners.
Razzle Dazzle Car Wash, on Beechwood Avenue, just off Port Washington Boulevard, is not your average auto suds shop.
Instead, the design and décor of the brand new building is quite unusual—with large glass walls, a center skylight and high painted ceilings. The roof is painted bright blue.
Washing your car there is an experience unto itself, as you walk along while it gently slides through the building. During the actual soaping cycle, autos are covered in suds that come out in pink, yellow and blue, making the car look like a children’s birthday cake.
The addition of a new, fun, car wash in Port Washington could benefit more than its owners, Charles Cross and his uncle, Angelo Paladino. It could serve as an attraction that brings people into the area who may shop at other Port stores.
Children should be fascinated by its design and will eventually be able to safely participate in washing the family car while it’s passing through the automated process. “We’re working on installing three stations that children can use themselves from behind the glass wall to spray on the suds in three different colors,” said Cross. “It should be a lot of fun.”
The idea for the name of the car wash was Paladino’s. “I wanted a name that people would remember,” he said. “No one remembers the name of their car wash. They just say ‘I went to the car wash.’ I want them to remember us by the name, Razzle Dazzle.”
“Everything about our place is environmentally friendly,” Cross said. Almost all of the water is recirculated and all of the soaps, detergents and liquids that are used are biodegradable.
“Our equipment is state-of-the-art,” he continued. “We’ve got special brushes that scrub the tires and other brushes that clean the wheels better than anything else. Cars won’t get scratched during the wash process either. All of the cloths that we use are chamois.”
Razzle Dazzle also boasts a pair of unusual policies. It features a 24-hour rain guarantee. “If it rains within a day, we’ll wash it again,” Cross said. “One lady came in recently and said that it rained and neither one of us remember it raining that day at all. We just washed it again. There was no argument.”
They also wash vans, 4×4’s, SUV’s, pickup trucks, etc. and charge the same price as they do for cars. “As long as the truck doesn’t have some kind of large rack on top of it, we’ll wash it for the same price,” Paladino said. “Other car washes charge more because the bigger vehicles need more vacuuming and prep time.”
Having had a previously successful car wash, Paladino has seen plenty of change in the business over the past 10 years. “All the cars used to have antennas outside,” he recalled. “We’d always have to spend time taking them off and putting them back on or they’d get broken. Now we have to deal with so many cars that have rear windshield wipers, especially SUV’s, and be sure to tape those wipers down.”
Paladino and Cross, who partnered previously in a successful commercial construction venture and another Queens car wash, took an interest in the lots at the 3, 5 and 7 Beechwood, when they envisioned that it would be the perfect spot for a car wash, literally at the main entrance to Port. “We just felt that there was a need at this location,” Paladino said.
But, it took Cross and Paladino seven long years to make Razzle Dazzle a reality. The owners wanted to get things just right and had to satisfy stringent town zoning requirements. The actual entrance for cars traveling on Port Washington Boulevard is accessible by turning left or right onto Willowdale Avenue, turning left on South Bayles Avenue and then turning on to Beechwood. “We originally wanted to have the entrance on Port Washington Boulevard but that wasn’t possible,” Paladino said.
They also hope to soon open a detailing and oil change business in an adjacent building.