SOMERSET, Mass. — The new Sonic restaurant built next door to Roland's Tire Service in Somerset became the inspiration for a unique idea.
What if Roland's commissioned the painting of a mural on the outer wall of the tire shop that brought back the idea of the old car-hop days, when customers would drive in, pull up to a speaker, place an order and a few minutes later, a waiter or waitress would roller skate to the car, order in hand?
That's exactly what artist Thomas J. O'Connor created for Roland's Somerset facility, located in northeast Massachusetts.
After numerous meetings and brainstorming of ideas, Mr. O'Conner got the go-head for the project, which he completed late last year. He spent five months creating two panels, approximately 20-by-30 feet, on an outside wall of the dealership that faces the restaurant and about 16 parking spaces for the restaurant's customers.
Each panel has the feel of a 1950s scene straight out of a tire shop: Customers and service shop personnel are shown interacting with tires.
A painting of a man is situated between the murals, advertising Roland's lifetime tire rotation for customers who purchase tires from the dealership as well as a free visual brake and battery inspection.
"I wanted to come up with an idea to get the Roland's Tire name across without being like a billboard advertisement," said Matt Gomes, Somerset store manager. "We wanted to give back to the community and have a nice garage-like scene that people could enjoy, rather than having a direct message that you were forced to stare at."
One of its tire suppliers, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., is featured prominently in the mural.
"We have been a Cooper dealer for over 62 years, and it is our main brand that we wanted to feature in the mural," Mr. Gomes said. "We carry just about every tire you can think of."