Whether or not you're intimately familiar with the glory that is '70s disco and R&B, you've undoubtedly heard "Car Wash" before. While I'm not sure exactly what type of car washes Rose Royce was frequenting — they sound like a hell of a lot more fun than the ones I'm used to — I recently learned that not all car washes are created equal.
Like countless others suffering under the crippling misery of first world problems, to me, getting a car wash often feels like an inconvenience. Sitting in a dank lobby drinking shitty, free coffee and watching General Hospital on a half-broken television set isn't an enticing prospect.
It turns out that car washes, like most dreaded obligations, are better with booze. Luckily for residents of Plano, Trademark Carwash has got them covered.
Any wash at Trademark's newest Plano location at 1101 Coit Road, just north of Plano Parkway, that includes the vehicle's interior (the starting option is the $27 "full service") comes with complimentary beer or wine, among other amenities, which include sodas from Oak Cliff Beverage Works and coffee from Ascension Coffee Roasters.
Trademark is what Tom Miller, president of The Car Wash Cos., which operates brands such as Trademark and Tommy Terrific's Car Wash, calls "a luxury car wash that isn't outrageously expensive." This car wash is the same brand that has been operating in Allen since 2004, but the new Plano location is the first iteration of this new amenity-driven model.
Trademark boasts some serious bragging rights in terms of technology. The two 90-by-15-foot conveyor belts that slowly move cars along an assembly line process for detail work are the first of their kind in the state. It's also a bit more cultured than the typical car wash, something that is apparent from the designer trash cans and the commissioned art pieces on the walls from Dallas' Cameron Smith, which all perfectly complement the sleek, modern aesthetic of the car wash’s interior.
While it's nice to know your vehicle is being treated well, it's also nice to treat yourself well. So, while the evidence of your embarrassingly laissez-faire approach to vehicular hygiene is being lovingly erased by the pros, why don't you grab yourself a drink?
"The idea to serve alcohol began by wanting to have a true wine bar inside the car wash," Miller says.
In what will likely come as a surprise to no one, these plans were thwarted by the Gatekeepers of No-Fun Land over at the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. "What that boiled down to was we could legally sell beer and wine but not serve it on premise — doesn’t make for much of a wine bar if you can’t drink the wine at the bar," Miller says. "To keep our dream alive, despite the restrictions, we opted to give it away for free."
The beer selection has got all the macro-lover's bases covered with Bud Light, Miller Lite, Dos Equis and Red Stripe, and while it's not craft-beer heaven, the list also features some local selections from Lakewood Brewing and Rahr & Sons.
As far as the wine, Miller says, "We feature different bottles based on what we are digging at the moment. ... Fortunately, my daughter is in the wine business. She has introduced me to new up-and-comers in the industry that might not have been on my radar, especially wines emerging on the market that are a good value before the price rises due to name recognition. It’s been a really cool side project for us to work on together."
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At the end of the day what they are trying to do at Trademark Carwash, in Miller's words, is to "create an environment that is totally unexpected for a car wash."
I already knew Trademark provided beer and wine before I came, so I can't say I didn't expect that. Also, I read some reviews on Yelp before I made my way out there so I can't say I didn't expect quality wash either, but I really didn’t expect the hospitality. Tossing a cooler of beer into a dingy car wash lobby would have been easy enough. Instead, Trademark Carwash makes their customers feel cared for in a way more reminiscent of a cafe, and that's pretty interesting.
And the free booze certainly doesn't hurt.
Trademark Car Wash, 1101 Coit Road, Plano