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Longtime friends bring old cars back to life at historic St. Louis building

Large 8-cylinder cars were built at the old Cole-Standard building from 1919 to 1935

ST. LOUIS — Cars from days gone by are coming back to life at a garage in St. Louis' Midtown neighborhood, not far from St. Louis University.

They are taking what’s old and making it new again.

“There’s just about every stage a car could be in here,” said Keaton Christensen.

There is an excitement in bringing something new to the old Cole-Standard building.

“It’s a historic building for automotive,” Christensen told 5 On Your Side.

Large 8-cylinder cars were built there from 1919 to 1935. Now, Christensen and his longtime friend Jacob Case are taking their love of cars and rebuilding them.

“I have an electrical degree, he’s going to have his mechanical degree, and they can really work well together to get a project done,” said Case.

The first project was to get the building move-in ready. The downtime during the COVID-19 pandemic gave them time to work on it.

“Took advantage of nothing happening around us and got as much done as we could,” said Christensen.

“There were definitely times when we didn’t love the labor we were doing,” added Case.

The two are still converting the space, but their Cherry Garage is in business. The place isn’t like Jiffy Lube.

“Their focus is general maintenance. Get you in get you out real quick,” explained Case.

These two business partners actually want people to hang out there. The vision is for the front space, which used to be a showroom, to become a café and bar.

“You can kind of compare it to an art gallery in a way. But one that’s living action – watch people do the art,” said Christensen.

As kids they dreamed of working on and designing cars, and now that dream is coming true.

“There’s definitely times where you just kind of look around and you’re like wow this is real,” said Case.

The Cherry Garage is located at 2936 Locust Street. They’re hoping to hold community auto repair classes there once the garage is fully done.