CAROL STREAM – The BP gas station that in 2013 became the first Carol Stream station to receive a liquor license had a second reason to celebrate at a ribbon cutting July 18: the grand opening of its new B-Fast Cafe.
“We're very excited,” said Bhaven Golwala, owner of the gas station and B-Fast Cafe at 105 W. North Ave.
The owner was joined by Carol Stream Mayor Frank Saverino, Carol Stream Chamber of Commerce members and residents at the cafe's grand opening celebration.
Golwala's wife, Susmita Patel, who manages the station and cafe, said she and her husband were reading a newspaper last year when they saw an article stating the village had decided to give gas stations Class P liquor licenses.
“When we saw that, we applied first,” Patel said.
Saverino said he thinks the cafe and liquor license are both great ideas and will bring more customers to the gas station, which means more money from inside sales.
“If you give them a decent gas price, maybe they’ll come in and buy something to eat," Saverino said.
B-Fast Cafe serves breakfast and lunch food items, which are both available all day long.
“It’s like homestyle cooking," Patel said. "You can add toppings and seasonings."
The manager said her son, Subhav Patel, also owns the gas station and cafe with his father, making it a family business.
The Carol Stream Village Board of Trustees created the Class P liquor license for gas stations in February 2013, said Chris Oakley, assistant to the village manager.
“It’s for the retail sale of beer and wine in the package and doesn’t allow consumption of liquor on the premises,” Oakley said.
So far, six liquor licenses have been issued to two 7-Eleven stores, a liquor and tobacco store, and several gas stations with convenience marts, he said. The Class P liquor license has to be renewed every year.
Golwala and Patel have owned the BP gas station since 2012.
Patel said the gas station sees a large amount of traffic because it’s located at a busy intersection.
“We have the most traffic in the morning and evening, with customers coming before they go to work and after they leave work,” she said.
Patel said she and her husband had a liquor license for a gas station they owned in 2006 in Etowah, Tenn., that gave them good business because they were able to sell beer.
“The biggest thing is convenience, the fact that you don’t have to go into a store to buy it,” said Nan Gudenkauf, office manager for the Carol Stream Chamber of Commerce. “This BP has a little bit of everything.”