By Brian Swartz
Special Sections Editor
BANGOR, Maine — Town Fair Tire selected 976 Stillwater Ave. as the site of its sixth Maine service center, and Regional Manager Kevin O’Roak could not be more pleased with the location between Kittredge Road and the upper Bangor Wal-Mart entrance off Stillwater Avenue.
“We’re on an elevated piece of property at the head of major intersections. Everybody driving past can see us,” said O’Roak, who has opened six other service centers for Connecticut-based Town Fair Tire. “It’s location, location, location.
Bangor was the next obvious location in Maine, where the company operates service centers in Auburn, Augusta, Biddeford, South Portland and Topsham, O’Roak said. Town Fair Tire has 87 centers spread through every New England state except Vermont.
Town Fair Tire handles “just wheels, tires and alignments,” said O’Roak. “We sell every brand, every [tire] size,” and the Bangor service center inventories “just shy of 4,000 tires” inside its showroom. “That’s the normal stocking amount we have in here,” he said.
Brand names include Bridgestone, Doral, Firestone, General, Mastercraft and Michelin.
The Bangor service center, which officially opened on Nov. 25, will employ 15 to 18 people and will be open six days a week — 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday; 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Closed on Sunday, the service center will be open until 7 p.m. every Thursday until Christmas.
Bryan Blanchard, an eight-year Town Fair Tire employee, is the store manager. Joe Alfonso, the service manager, has been with the company for 15 years. Tom O’Meara is the lead technician.
Inside the six service bays located at the rear of the building, tire technicians install tires and perform alignments. According to O’Roak, Town Fair Tire stresses competition. “We guarantee to best anybody’s price,” he said.
When a customer provides a written estimate from elsewhere, “we’ll beat that price by 5 percent as long as we can verify that quote,” O’Roak said.
Printed on each order is the torquing information for the particular make and year of vehicle. A tire technician hand torques each lug nut to the correct setting, then another tire technician uses a separate torque wrench to verify the settings. Technicians also clean each wheel hub and the back of each tire rim to remove corrosion and other debris.
Town Fair Tire performs a free front-end alignment with the purchase of two tires and offers a $49 alignment with the purchase of four tires, O’Roak noted.
The construction project went well, he indicated. “All the contractors were local contractors,” O’Roak said. “We bought all new equipment, which we do with all our stores. The city [of Bangor] was great to work with. I’ve opened seven of our stores, and this was by far the smoothest that it’s gone.”
For information, call 262-6126, go to townfairtire.com or townfairtire.com/bangor-maine.shtml.