The Cheswold Laundromat opened Monday just off Main Street with an impressive array of brand new Dexter washing machines and dryers, diamond plate steel walls and a gray and black-checkered floor.
Owner Dave Hollen built the Laundromat not just to provide high efficiency, state-of-the art machines made in the U.S.A. but to look good as well.
“I work in construction; I’m a builder,” Hollen said. “I liked the heavy industrial look. And I knew the equipment was going to be black and stainless [steel] so I wanted something to go with that.
“The diamond plate wall coverings cost me a little more, but the wow factor is unbelievable,” Hollen said. “I’ve had several people tell me, ‘This is the best Laundromat I’ve ever seen in my life.’”
Hollen is the owner of the shopping center that houses the Laundromat and the Cheswold News & Tobacco two doors down. The shopping center is across the street from the Cheswold Fire Company.
He felt the town could use another Laundromat for the sake of competition, and he wanted to really impress customers and retain them.
“We went with all high efficiency machines,” Hollen said. “There are three main players in the laundry business. Two of them are American — Dexter Laundry and Speed Queen. I went with Dexter because it’s all made in America. It’s creating some jobs there.”
In addition, the high efficiency, steel machines are better for the environment, he said.
“Your standard top loader uses 80 gallons of water where this uses 20 gallons of water,” he said. “It’s actually cheaper for the homeowner to come here and do laundry than it is for them to do it at home.”
The new front loaders also effectively extract water from clothes during the high speed spinning, thereby cutting down on the drying time, Hollen said. And the dryers are powered by natural gas.
“A person could come in here and be in and out of here in less than a hour and be done with their laundry,” he said.
Hollen handled most of the construction, including the electrical work, with the help of his friend, Willy Adams, he said. He subcontracted such things as the flooring and plumbing.
Page 2 of 2 - The Cheswold Laundromat will be unattended for the most part except in the evening, when an employee will be on duty to close and clean up. Plus, Hollen will be nearby at his news & tobacco shop.
“All the video cameras in here are monitored 24-7,” he said. “We’re tied into a DVR. We’re just two doors down.”
The Cheswold Laundromat has 12 washers, including 20 pounders, 40 pounders and 60 pounders, and 14 dryers, Hollen said. It is located at 62 Holly Oak Lane, Dover, and it is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.