Red Star Gas & Welding Supply opens in Niles
Rob Satek, owner of new Niles business Red Star Gas & Welding Supply, likes to tell people there aren’t too many true “gas men” anymore.
“The people you see here are a dying breed,” said Satek, a second generation gas man. “My wife (Jackie) learned from myself and my father, and I learned from my father.
“It’s kind of a dying art anymore. Most of them phased out with the baby boomers.”
Red Star Gas & Welding Supply opened May 1 at 218 N. Front St., across from Riverfront Cafe. It focuses on the retail end of welding supply, offering welders, plasma cutters, torches, regulators, welding apparel and anything else to do with welding supply.
The Sateks also exchange, refill, sell and rent bottled gas, including CO2, welding gasses, helium, oxygen and more.
“You can bring us your cylinder and trade us for a full one or we can fill yours offsite,” Jackie said. “If you need a cylinder we can sell you one or rent you one.”
Although it opened last week, Red Star Gas & Welding Supply is still slightly under construction. The Sateks plan to begin offering T-shirts, beanies and hats featuring their throwback Red Star logo.
Rob expects his inventory to grow exponentially over the next few months as he finds out what his customers want and need.
“I want my store to be built around the community and the users,” he said. “That way we don’t have a lot of waste.”
Jackie said city officials, residents and other business owners have been very accommodating.
“We are excited not just to be here, but hopefully to be an asset that brings in more business and gets people excited about the downtown,” Jackie said. “We just love Niles.”
The Sateks are both big motorcycle enthusiasts who have been involved with the Niles Burn Run for several years. Rob keeps one of his bikes on a lift in the front of the shop.
You can also find the Sateks’ two dogs at the shop: Reno and Levi.
The Sateks encourage anyone to stop by their store.
“We want to be the cool hip place for people to go for not just their welding supplies, but they can just come visit, pet the dogs, or talk bikes,” Jackie said.
Red Star Gas & Welding Supply can be reached by phone at (269) 635-5051.