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Duke of Oil marks milestone

| Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, 9:49 p.m.
Chris Buckley | The Valley Independent
Scott Wigfield, left, and Manager Gary Koteles, service a vehicle at Duke of Oil in Carroll Township. The business is marking its 25th anniversary in 2013.

Bruce Bartolotta was in Los Angeles in 1986 when he saw a drive-through quick lube business for the first time.

“He said, ‘This is a fantastic idea. There's nothing like that in my home town,” recalled Camera Bartolotta of her late husband's reaction to the business concept.

“When we moved back to Monongahela in 1988, we built the first quick lube in the Mon Valley.”

That business, Duke of Oil, is marking its 25th anniversary this year.

Duke of Oil was built at the corner of state routes 88 and 837 in the Fisher Heights section of Carroll Township.

The site was chosen because of its close proximity to the family-owned Fisher Heights Giant Eagle. The two businesses share the same spacious parking lot.

“How much more convenient is that?” Bartolotta said. “You pull your car in, leave your keys and do some shopping. And when you come back, your car has been serviced.”

Bartolotta said the intersection is “prime and convenient.”

“Anybody in business and marketing will tell you it takes someone seven times to pass by before they see you,” Bartolotta said. “We were open for 10 years and some people said, ‘Oh, when did you put that in there?'

“It's a very good spot, convenient and easy to get to.”

Bartolotta said expansion into the family grocery store site along Route 88 in Finleyville was considered at one point, but the price of oil and gas has put those plans on hold, for now.

“But we're still holding our own, providing the best products and services,” Bartolotta said.

Duke of Oil prides itself as a 10-minute, full-service oil change shop. The six-man staff also provides tire rotation, brake service, replacement of wiper blades, air filters, cabin filters and batteries. They also do fuel injection cleaning, repair lights, transmission work, radiator flushes and replace valves.

Bartolotta said the staff prides itself on fast, friendly service. They average 35 vehicles serviced a day. Duke of Oil is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

Two bays are used for oil changes with the third bay reserved for more extensive work on vehicles, said Manager Gary Koteles.

“The big key is experience,” said Koteles.

“I've been at this for 20 years and my assistant, Nick Kopanic, has 10 years' experience.”

Customers are also encouraged to come back between services for a free top-off service.

Bartolotta said, “Don't ignore preventive care.”

“Regular service adds gas mileage, adds years to your car's life and saves on costly repairs down the road,” Bartolotta said.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or