By Carol Stiffler
Up North Laundry owners Ryan Bennett and Brian LeBoeuf are the new owners of The Washboard laundromat, 110 W. John Street. They purchased it on Friday, April 22, from former owner Harold Dishaw.
After assessing the building, the pair have closed it temporarily while updates and renovations are being made. They plan to repopen, as Up North Laundry, in the summer.
In the meantime, customers in need of coin laundry can visit the other Up North Laundry location at 401 E. Truman Blvd.
“We’re going to be putting in quite a few new machines,” Bennett said. “We’re probably going to be bringing back the showers, which a lot of people who stay at the park and campgrounds use. We are totally redoing the interior, and some of the exterior.”
Two 60-pound machines, some of the largest available, will be installed as well. These machines can handle the volume of five or six standard loads of laundry at one time. “For people who want to wash tents, or a couple king-sized comforters, or rugs, we will have them,” he said.
The facility may soon also feature touchless payment by credit card, eliminating the need to bring quarters or exchange dollars for quarters on site.
Up North Laundry has locations in Sault Ste. Marie, Kinross, Hessel, and now two in Newberry. This summer will serve as a test period to see if Newberry truly needs two laundromat locations.
“If it works, we’ll keep both of them open,” Bennett said.
Laundry will always be a chore, Bennett said, but he tries to make visits to UpNorth Laundry locations as comfortable as possible.
“It’s going to be clean,” he said. “It will always be well lit. It will always be secure.”
The laundromat is also a place where days of laundry can be done all at once, if the place isn’t busy.
“You would be surprised the number of people here in the Soo that do not even own a washer and dryer,” Bennett said. “They rely on the laundromat. They come in on Sunday, our biggest family day, bring a couple big bags of clothes, do it in an hour, and leave with it folded.