Got the next great restaurant idea? This car wash owner wants to hear it

I got a great car wash the other day at Orbit Wash, a place that has do-it-yourself bays as well as a roll-through wash complete with hand detailing. So why am I telling you about this on a food blog?

While I was waiting for my car to be cleaned and vacuumed, I had nothing to do, so I wandered over to Insight on S Street, had a coffee and read a book. I returned in an hour and chatted briefly with the owner. I asked about the small concrete slab near the front of the property and he told me it is going to be a cafe. I did a doubletake.

Yes, it turns out the owner, Lane Leach, is in real estate and saw the property, with its weather-beaten mid-century modern style, as a prime location for renovation and repurposing. It’s a charming building, built in 1959 by Shell Oil. Leach spent 10 months on renovations.

Leach’s business card states, “Wash your car, wash your dog: One place.” That will soon have to be revised, for Leach wants people to be able to drop by for a good meal and a glass of wine or craft beer. He already has archictectural drawings that tie in with the mid-mo aesthetic — lots of glass and steel, plenty of verticality, a garage-style door, outdoor seating, a full hood and ventilation system. The building will only be 400 square feet, so most of the seating will be outside. It’s ready for grease traps and floor drains.

So what’s his concept? That’s where you come in.

Leach is in real estate, not restaurants. He’s looking for great ideas. And if your pitch resonates with him, you might just be setting up your dream eatery at the corner of 9th and T streets.

“I’m really tossing and turning about what makes sense with that small of a space,” Leach told me. “The premise is, come in and get your car washed. Get your dog washed, too, if you want. And have something to eat and drink.”

You probably won’t need a lot of money to get the idea going. Leach told me the starting rent will be nominal, if anything, and that he will likely get 10 percent of the gross revenue.

“If they succeeed, I succeed,” he said.

This is an exciting opportunity for someone with a great concept but limited resources. Maybe someone with a food truck who wants to do brick and mortor. Maybe a young chef who wants to try something new. All kinds of possibilities.

If you think you have a concept and are ready to work hard to make it happen, get in touch with Leach: (916) 801-1266 or