Entrepreneur Muna finds balance in Metro Car Wash, supports neighbors in need

A few years ago, Mazen Muna was building an empire of diverse businesses around Milwaukee and beyond. In addition to the five Dogg Haus restaurants he operated, she had five licensees in Minnesota. There was a taco bar as well as the Plum Lounge and the car wash shop in the center where we are sitting today.

Now, Muna is down to a Dogg Haus, the original location on Brady Street, and Metro Car Wash and Detailing at 1510 N. Van Buren St. Seeing the relaxed smile as he talks about his pivot, I have to ask what happened.

“COVID,” Muna says, without a hint of regret in her voice.

“I was able to refocus and put energy into Metro, which has basically made it 10 times busier than it was before I was on site,” says Muna, who admits she was feeling the stress of growing too fast in a chaotic new market.

On top of that, he was so spread out that he felt like he was missing out on seeing his children grow as they got older. “I want to spend more time with them,” he says, pointing to his 12-year-old son, Ghazi, who is across the shop polishing a car alongside his dozen full- and part-time adult employees.

“He’s been here six or seven days a week with me all summer,” says Muna. “And when I tell her to take a break and stay home, she doesn’t want to, she’d rather be here…and she’s smart.”

But the reduction wasn’t strictly for Muna’s mental health or balance sheet. She is also inclined to give back to the city she loves while differentiating his business at the same time.

Sure, you’ll still see some of Milwaukee’s most luxurious cars on Metro — they’re the official detailers for the Milwaukee Bucks and service their entire fleet — but there are several free services Muna offers that show you mean what you mean when you say you want be “embedded” in the community.

It started last year on a frigid winter day when Muna, himself, needed to put some air in his tires, and he had an idea. “What about the other East Side residents, seniors, people with amputated legs, veterans, whatever the case may be, or people who maybe don’t know how to inflate a tire?”

He jumped on Facebook and offered to pump up his neighbors’ tires, free of charge, and that first day, 40 cars showed up. Sure, Muna says, some of them were regular customers who knew Metro does this, but the simple act of picking up cars from a nearby nursing home, filling their tires, or putting some gas in their tanks made Muna feel like I was doing the right thing.

Then he went a step further.

Muna, like others, has seen a rise in car break-ins downtown since COVID, so she’s partnered with the Milwaukee Police Department and now offers free broken glass cleanup inside the frames. of doors and cars, as well as covering the windows. In the past few days, it’s serviced 15 cars, though many of them are out-of-state drivers staying at hotels, and likely won’t become repeat customers.

Says Muna: “When you leave a business, when you leave a city, if the last person is nice to you, the city looks better.”

Muna talking about services with a regular customer.

For Muna, this attitude is nothing new, whether in the business of hot dogs, tacos, martinis or car washes.

“I feel like when you have a business that’s open strictly for the dollar, it’s going to become a flop,” he says. “There are many reasons why a company can be voted the best. It’s not just a reason. I have always put people first, no matter what.”

And now, he finally has the work-life balance that was lost during the early years of his life as an entrepreneur.

“It’s nice to be able to wake up at six in the morning, instead of going to bed at six in the morning,” he says with a smile.

Metro Car Wash & Detailing is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., though Mazen notes that he will always arrive early or stay late depending on the customer’s needs. You can also book services on their website.

Leave a Comment