By Tim Moran
It’s the end of an era at the corner of 111th and Talman in Beverly/Morgan Park as the Kean brothers who have long operated the only full-service gas station in the area have sold the business.
Kishore Mathews is the new owner and plans to make a number of changes. But that one unique feature — the full-service — will remain the same, he told The Villager.
“It will continue to be full-service,” Mathews said. “I do not want to change that. People are used to it.”
The station will soon look much different, however. Mathews said to expect new pumps, new signage and branding, and a full interior remodel in the coming weeks. The site will also move on from the Kean name and become a Shell. The Kean family owned the property for 73 years, third-generation owner Raleigh Kean informed the gas station’s followers on Facebook.
“My brother Jim and I have decided to retire,” Kean wrote. “Growing up on 109th Street, attending St. Cajetan church and school, and working to make our business grow, we have great memories and give grateful thanks for the opportunity to serve our neighbors and our community.”
Kean credited much of the business’ long-standing success to their “devoted Kean team members.” Those same employees, Mathews said, will remain at the site through the ownership change. As of Villager press time, the gas station is also hiring for additional general cashier work.
“It has been great so far,” Mathews said. “We’re fortunate to have customers here who have been coming here for many years.”
Mathews owns several gas stations across Chicago city neighborhoods and suburbs. He became connected to the Keans through family members who purchased gas stations from them.
“It has been our great privilege to be a part of our great neighborhood,” Raleigh Kean wrote in his goodbye letter. “We wish you and your families our sincerest thanks.”