Written By: Heather Chamberlain, President WLBA and Owner and CEO Theresa’s Gingerbread House, LLC Childcare Centers
As you head North on US HWY 68, across from Thoman’s IGA in to the bustling village of West Liberty, you are greeted by the local full service automotive garage that provides everything from fixing a leak in your tire to full service diagnostic testing and repairs on every make and model car you can possibly think of! From makes and models ranging from Asian, European to Domestic Vehicles, Solomon’s Garage is the Go-to place to care for your vehicle far and wide! Behind the desk you will find the smiling face of a well-known native, Katie Neer, and hard at work on the cars in the garage you will find her husband, native Dave Neer. Together they have owned and operated the garage since Jan 1, 2012 when they moved back to West Liberty, and they have been at their current location since 2016 when they purchased it from the Hostetler’s, who owned and operated the former Liberty Oil & Gas. Dave and Katie also own Neer and Farm, a home décor and Fashion Boutique next door at 114 S Detroit St. They have 2 beautiful children, Levi, a 7th grader and Sadie, a kindergartner and they have a brand new baby boy on the way!
How many employees work at Solomon’s Garage?
Solomon’s Garage currently employs 2 full-time technicians in addition to Dave. Katie is the full-time service writer. There is also a part-time maintenance technician and a couple of on-call parts runners.
What is the history of Solomon’s Garage in West Liberty?
The location has operated as an auto repair shop / service station in this location since the 1950s (as far as the owners know).
What does your business offer residents of West Liberty?
Solomon’s Garage offers dealer quality services and expertise at a fraction of the cost right here in a small town. Solomon’s Garage saves customers the hassle of driving all the way to Columbus or Dayton for service on high line and foreign cars. Solomon’s Garage also offers pickup and delivery and the occasional house call when necessary.
What is something unique about the business or its owners?
Dave & Katie both grew up here. They were high school sweethearts and graduated from WLS in 2000. Dave went to Lincoln Tech in Indianapolis for their automotive program and worked 10 years at Dreyer & Reinbold BMW in Indianapolis. Dreyer was the very first BMW dealership opened in North America and was and continues to be a nationally ranked facility. Katie attended Purdue University and graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering in 2005. She worked for 4 years as a Civil Engineer designing highways and storm water systems and then “retired” from that career path in 2009 to be a stay at home mom to her son, Levi. When presented with the opportunity to sell their home in Indiana and move back to be closer to the grandparents, the Neer's jumped at the chance. Dave had always wanted to open his own shop and serve his hometown in that capacity. In 2011, he “retired” from Dreyer & Reinbold and started his own place in the end of his father’s machine shed. The rest is history…
Does Solomon’s Garage offer classes, specials, or any other service that customers may not know about?
Solomon’s Garage occasionally offers car care clinics to anyone, especially teen and women drivers, educating people on how to find a good used vehicle, how to maintain that vehicle and how to change a flat tire, check your fluids and tire pressures on your own, etc. Pre-purchase inspections are also a great service that we provide. For just about $60 you can have a vehicle you are interested in purchasing thoroughly checked out. We have saved several customers thousands of dollars avoiding a lemon!
How is Solomon’s Garage involved with the community in West Liberty?
Katie has serviced as a member of the West Liberty Business Association, often as secretary, for the past 7 years. The business also tries to sponsor ball teams and local events as much as possible. Solomon’s Garage has also been involved in Street Market events, the Christmas parade and car shows.
What do customers love the most about Solomon’s Garage?
Most of our customers love that they can trust us to provide good quality services and sound advice. We train all of our employees to look at customer cars as if they are working on their own grandmother’s car or their wife and kids’ car. Most people appreciate that.
What are the hours of operation?
We are open Monday thru Friday 8-5.
When you aren’t at your business, what are you doing? (Hobbies, etc)
Dave is a huge gun enthusiast, so you will often find him target shooting, competing, or teaching CCW courses. Katie loves home décor so in 2020 she opened up a home décor store next door, and she enjoys helping other people organize their homes in her rare spare time haha!
What is your favorite thing about owning a business in a small town?
We love being a part of the community that raised us! We like to use our technical skills and abilities to serve our friends and family and neighbors.
What is your favorite thing about West Liberty?
What’s not to love? Being part of a small town where you know your local grocer, your daycare owner, your coffee shop and pizza and ice cream parlor owners, you can’t beat it! We love the relationships that we have built since we moved back to the area.
Is there anything else you’d like your customers to know?
Typically, we book out about a week, so if you want something done before you go on a road trip, etc. schedule accordingly. We can usually accommodate emergencies, but if you can ever plan ahead, please do!
Solomon’s Garage is located at 122 S. Detroit St. West Liberty, OH 43357 and their phone number is 937.887.0029.