Neighborhood’s new laundromat locates adjacent to Save-A-Lot

The refreshed strip mall on McMechen Street just east of Eutaw Place has a brand-new business – a laundromat with sparkling new equipment that provides drop-off wash, dry and fold services as well as self-service.

Wash E-Z  moved to the neighborhood in March and is open and staffed seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The owner, Farooq Iqbal, has operated other businesses in Baltimore, including a laundromat in Remington. Lack of parking there was a hindrance, he said, so he shut it down after four years, sold the equipment and started anew in Bolton Hill.

The new facility adjacent to the Save-a-Lot grocery has 30 dryers and 27 washing machines, all operated in a cashless fashion. “You buy a laundry card using either your credit card or money in our machine and use the value on the card to access the washers and dryers,” Iqbal said. Cash is accepted from customers who drop off and pick up laundry, if that is their choice.

He said the investment in all-new equipment was expensive but in line with his belief that customers expect efficient and reliable machines and a clean facility. Located where an old and dingy laundromat once operated that closed several years ago, the new facility is spotless and brightly lit. An attendant’s desk is stocked with detergent and other supplies for self-service clients who do not bring these items with them.

Prior to leasing the space, Iqbal said he did market research which led him to believe that a well-run laundry would do well here. “We have all sorts of customers coming in, students, people who live in apartments with no laundry facilities and others who have access to washers at home but prefer that we do it for them,” he said. He said he looked carefully at demographics in Bolton Hill and surrounding neighborhoods.

Iqbal immigrated from Pakistan, arriving in Baltimore in 2002. He learned about the available space from the Pakistani-rooted family that now owns and operates Save-A-Lot stores throughout Maryland. He said  another new business, a café and carryout that will serve Halal meals, also will be located in the mall in the coming months.