The refurbished Shell station on South Street has been updated with a stone wall, landscaping and new interior. Its grand opening will be July 1. (Holly
The refurbished Shell station on South Street has been updated with a stone wall, landscaping and new interior. Its grand opening will be July 1. (Holly Pelczynski/Bennington Banner/photos.benningtonbanner.com)

BENNINGTON -- Karen and Scott Chenaille closed on the Shell gas station and convenience store, 305 South St., on Friday, June 6, after the business stood vacant for several months.

In less than three weeks, the couple made cosmetic alterations and installed new gas pumps, readied in time for a soft opening on Tuesday. The Chenailles hired back the original convenience store staff. Leading up to a grand opening on July 1, Karen Chenaille said the staff will be trained on new prices and registers and get all the kinks of opening a new business worked out.

"I hired back the manager," Chenaille said. "I'm really fortunate because this doesn't have to be my full-time job, She's going to be here to take care of the inventory and the day to day."

Karen Chenaille works at her husband's construction company, Chenaille Moore Bldr in Shaftsbury, and is a program manager for General Dynamics in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. She took off for a week to oversee the opening of the gas station and convenience store.

"That's part of having a convenience store: If you don't maintain it, people stop coming, and that's exactly what happened here before," Chenaille said.

On the July 1 grand opening day, the 305 South St. convenience store will be handing out free hot dogs, chips and drinks to encourage the community to come in. Watch for an advertisement in the Banner for a clip out entry form to put into a drawing for a $250 gas giveaway on August 3.

Karen Chenaille said the property was a blight before she and her husband bought it. The new owners hired a landscape crew to build a retaining wall, plant trees and flowers.

"We are on the cusp of the historical district I thought it would be nice to put some gardens in. We wanted to draw people in. It looks clean and it looks nice," Chenaille said.

Contact Tom Momberg at tmomberg@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @TomMomberg.