The Hilltop Service Station on 15th, which has been operating on Capitol Hill since the 1960s, will close and might be snatched up by developers, Capitol Hill Seattle (CHS) reports.
No final decisions have been made yet, but the station has stopped pumping gas, the land is for sale, and developers are "actively pursuing the property." As owner Mike Burke told CHS, “So what do you think is gonna happen in Seattle.”
Hilltop is one of the city's last full-service stations. Customers could get their oil changed and their cars tuned up. “We provide a continuity of service. It has to do with relationships with people, not just chains and customers," Burke told CHS. "We’ve had decades-long customers because we’ve become friends.”
A long-time customer of Hilltop commented on the CHS post about what the gas station meant to them.
I am disabled, unable to get out of my van to pump my own gas. I have lived on the hill for 25 years, appreciating this station as one of the only places in the city where an attendant would come to my window and ask me what I need.
Every gas station has a sign for the Handicapped that says service will be provided upon honking the horn. I have never had this work. Sometimes, if I can find the number online and give them a call, an employee will come out and pump the gas. They are never happy to see me. Most often, they are unable to help because they are alone in the store. So, I lower the lift, transfer out and start asking for help of other customers pumping gas. As with other necessary interactions, these lead to some good human moments but it is a lot of work, holds up the line, produces anxiety and the thought of it limits my movement.
Thank you Hilltop Service Station for an old idea I got to grow up with. You always always helped me off right on my solo adventures.
Another person who admired the Hilltop station is Ian "Uncle Ike" Eisenberg, owner of the eponymous pot shop on the same street. Apparently, Eisenberg is interested in opening his own full service gas station in the Central District. So, maybe Seattle won't be without one for long.