'Hillside Perk'

Friday, September 14, 2012

Carpenter Kent Grafel of Grafel Construction, Culbertson, Nebraska, works in "the dungeon," while "the tower" of a 1930's-era gas station on Highway 6 and 34 in Culbertson awaits repurposing into the drive-through window of "The Hillside Perk" -- a drive-through coffee shop with dine-in seating -- several blocks east of the community's "Hillside Park." Five Culbertson couples are having fun renovating the former gas station with the oh-so-eye-catching turret that Culbertson and area history buffs are thrilled they're saving. "The trend seems to be to 'tear down.' We're happy to be able to preserve something with so much character and history," said Deborah Walters. Pat Wagner said that Grafel was "the one contractor who did not insist on tearing down the turret and starting over." Kerri Waugh added, "He saw the vision with us." The couples hope to have "the Perk" open by the holidays. The visionaries passionate about saving a slice of Culbertson history while at the same time offering the community a new dining experience are: Deborah and her husband, John Walters; Pat and her husband, Ty Wagner; Kerri and her husband, Nate Waugh; Bob and Marie Smith; and Jim and Hazel Bobinmyer.

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