The Ochs Brothers - CSPM

The Ochs Brothers

Raised in Russell, Kansas, Larry, Harlan, Ken and Don Ochs learned the value of hard work from their father David. Decades after his death in 1945, they remembered his best qualities, “honesty, industry, loyalty, and sincerity.” In 1956, Larry, Ken and Don moved to Colorado Springs and opened PDQ Car Wash on South Nevada. Harlan arrived in 1958, and together they started Acorn Petroleum, a business the family still operates. Each of the brothers: Larry, Ken, Don, and Harlan found their own unique way to make Colorado Springs thrive.

– From the CSPM Curator of History

On Labor Day weekend of 1956, Colorado Springs welcomed their first fully automated car wash at 529 S. Nevada Ave. The innovative PDQ (“pretty darn quick”) Car Wash’s grand opening was the first of its kind west of the Mississippi. It was also the first of many business and civic ventures the Ochs brothers and their families would bring to the Pikes Peak region over the next 65 Years.

In 1956, the four Ochs brothers, Larry age 32, Harlan 28, Ken 26 and Don age 24 joined together in partnership to carry on the strong tradition of community support and entrepreneurial spirit they learned from their father while growing up in Russell Kansas.

In 1959 the Ochs brothers formed Acorn Petroleum after acquiring a small gasoline distributorship. 60 years later, Acorn continues to be run by the Ochs family and is one of the leading distributors of oil and gasoline in the Front Range urban corridor.

The Ochs’ purchased the downtown Denver Rio Grand & Western Railroad depot in 1971 (well known as Giuseppe’s Restaurant from 1972-2011). Committed to keeping the 1887 historic depot that General Palmer built, updated and preserved, the Ochs family remodeled the building and opened in June 2020 as 3 unique restaurants.

The Ochs families grew to love Colorado Springs and have given back to the community through volunteering, philanthropy, fund raising efforts, and in leadership roles.

Larry Ochs served as vice mayor in 1970 then mayor in 1975. He was a strong advocate for the POW/MIA cause and instrumental in bringing the US Olympic & Paralympic training center to Colorado Springs in 1978.

Ken Ochs was a longstanding member of the Pikes Peaks Range Riders, trustee for the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, and along with his brother Harlan, was a recipient of the Fort Carson Good Neighbor Award for their efforts supporting the military community.

Don Ochs was supportive of the Cheyenne Mountain school system, member of the First United Methodist Church, and a longtime member of Kiwanis.

Harlan Ochs, living at 92, has been the longest serving member of Rotary since 1959. He served on the District 11 school board and volunteered for numerous organizations including the

First United Methodist Church, Boy Scouts, Fine Arts center, and the Chamber of Commerce.

The Ochs brothers and their families have made important contributions during the last 65 years to help Colorado Springs be a welcoming and prosperous place to live.

Generously Submitted by Harlan Ochs

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