Capitol Hill Institution Distad’s Has Been Sold

Capitol Hill Institution Distad’s Has Been Sold

by Larry Janezich

Posted March 30, 2023

A week ago today, MetroMotor closed the deal on the sale of neighborhood institution, Distad’s Auto Clinic, at 823 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  It came as a shock to the Capitol Hill community and their loyal customer base since the new owners wanted to hold off on an announcement until the sale was complete.  The new owners will continue operating the auto clinic business.  

According to Amanda Distad, the owners – brothers Rick, John, and Roy (her father) – decided last year that they wanted to retire.  (Their sister, Donna Jean (Distad) Crawford, who John said was “key to the operation,” passed away suddenly, January 19, 2021 from covid.) 

Amanda said her grandfather – Harold Distad – opened the service station seventy-five years ago in 1959.  She’s the third generation of Distad’s to work in the station. 

The public face of Distad’s – the faces behind the counter – were John and Amanda Distad and Abby Astatke.  John’s last day was yesterday. Amanda says the first thing he’s doing is leaving for South Carolina on an 8 day camping trip.  Amanda and Abby will continue dealing with clients in the front office. 

The new owners wanted to retain the name “Distad’s,” but the brothers would not agree to that condition.

The station’s new service manager is Dana Novosel, who has been with MetroMoters for 12 years.  He said all employees are being retained for as long as they want.  He said, “Nothing’s changed except the ownership.  No one is going anywhere.  We don’t want them to leave.  We need all the familiar faces.”

MetroMoters has two more outlets on Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Capitol Hill Exxon and Pennsylvania Avenue Exxon and 12 other outlets in and around the District.  


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5 responses to “Capitol Hill Institution Distad’s Has Been Sold

  1. Ann

    I am crushed! I’ve been going there since 1986 and was always very happy with the service I received. John, especially, was always very helpful and I will miss him terribly. As they say, nothing is constant but change. A sad day for the Hill. Happy retirement to all, and thank you for your service.

  2. Christine McCoy

    This makes me so sad. I moved here in 1996 and walked past the station for a LONG time before getting a job that required me to commute out of town, which required getting a car. They were great with customer care and so I can only hope that the new owners understand how important that is to their customers. Have a GREAT retirement. You will be missed

  3. muskelunge

    They were so, so good! (Worried about the new owners, seen too many good mechanics leave this city)
    Wishing them the most fair and best for their well earned retirement.

  4. Gregory Cavanaugh

    Honesty, integrity. experience, commitment to work and family. I imagine if everyone in DC Metro area had the ethics of the Distad family, what a better place it would be to live. Thank you for being here and being a positive part of the Cavanaugh’s lives. P.S. We have missed the serenity of Donna as well.

  5. John Cloutier

    Very sorry to see a family run and a true neighborhood treasure come to an end. I am glad that all the friendly and helpful employees will be retained. Distad’s gave me such personalized service since 2001 for every 6 month tune up and for an occasional unexpected car problem. I wish them a great retirement. They deserve it.