If you’re looking for a distinctive experience when stopping to fuel up your tank, you might consider visiting one of Kentucky’s gas stations offering extras.
The number of convenience stores in the U.S. is up 1.5% from last year after four years of decline, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores. There are now more than 150,000 convenience stores operated in the U.S., and Kentucky has several openings on the horizon.
Along with the usual gas and restroom amenities, some Kentucky stores offer catering, specialty foods and more.
Here’s what to know about current and planned popular destination gas and convenience outlets Buc-ee’s, Wawa, Huck’s and Kroger Gas in the Bluegrass State.
Kentucky’s first Buc-ee’s location opened in Richmond in April 2022, and the 53,000-square-foot store drew in big crowds (and traffic jams) for its grand opening.
In just a few weeks, beaver-loving Kentuckians can look forward to ground breaking for the commonwealth’s second location, in Smiths Grove. The Western Kentucky store is expected to open in summer 2024, according to a previous Herald-Leader report.
Why yes, we did drive to Kentucky just to go to Buc-ees. pic.twitter.com/MuZHVbPsxD
— Alex Carroll (@aloysiuscc) November 5, 2022
Buc-ee’s is known for its clean restrooms and unique food offerings, including beef jerky, barbecue, “beaver nuggets,” fudge and more. Richmond City Manager Robert Minerich told the Herald-Leader in last April Buc-ee’s sold “the best beef jerky” he’d ever had.
Along with its plethora of food options and large refueling area, Buc-ee’s sells a variety of beaver-themed merchandise, including T-shirts, magnets and camping supplies.
The gas giant was founded in 1982 and boasts locations in Kentucky, Texas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.
In December, Wawa officials announced plans to open stores in Kentucky, according to a previous Herald-Leader report. No specific locations were named at the time, but the chain has at least 1,000 stores and also plans to expand to Ohio and Indiana.
Wawa offers catering, online ordering, a rewards program, gift cards and more. It’s known for its sandwiches and coffee.
Celebrating 1000th Store Milestone by Donating $1 Million in Gift Cards to our Charity Partners ️ @redcross, @checkouthunger, @CMNhospitals, @LLSusa, @JDRF, @SpecialOlympics, @The_USO, @_MealsonWheels and @Eaglesautism pic.twitter.com/sDKQAjSYT7
— Wawa (@Wawa) April 27, 2023
The first Wawa store opened in 1964 in Folsom, Pa., and pre-made sandwiches and hoagies were introduced in 1972, according to the chain’s website.
Huck’s, a gas station and convenience store with locations in several Kentucky cities, is expected open its first Lexington store, according to a previous Herald-Leader report. Its opening date has not yet been announced.
The store offers catering, as well as pizza, salads, fried chicken, coffee and more. You can save 10 cents on each gallon of fuel purchased there by joining Huck’s Bucks Bigg Rewards Loyalty Program.
No brainer. Gotta have the loyalty app! pic.twitter.com/Ur8JvpFLsg
— Huck's Food & Fuel (@GoToHucks) April 6, 2023
The Lexington location will be situated at 2450 Polo Club Blvd. Huck’s was established in 1974 and operates 120 locations.
Kroger gas stations are found in 16 states, and Lexington alone has eight locations, according to Kroger’s website.
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