The former Fountain Square Gulf and the garage to a former funeral home at the rear are being converted to a restaurant.
Tracy Crowley said a unit of Universal Joint will open around June. He and partner Gordon Ricker specialize in converting vintage service stations into neighborhood restaurants with units at Asheville, Atlanta and Clayton, Ga.
The property was acquired from Bryan and Cartter Patten. Bryan Patten said his grandfather, Z.C. Patten, was friends with the funeral home director and acquired the property near the County Courthouse in 1899.
Mr. Patten said he has eaten at the Universal Joint in Asheville. He said, "People will be very happy. The food is good and it's reasonably priced."
Patten and Patten Investments will continue to operate in the chapel portion of the former funeral home. Bryan Patten said he and his brother moved there after outgrowing space at Patten Parkway.
Mr. Crowley said the combination of the service station and former spot for parking hearses is "a different one for us."
He said Universal Joint offers burgers, wings and specialty items along with an assortment of beers.