Cleveland Scene - Among the many national and regional chains that don't currently have but should rightfully open locations in Ohio is Wawa, the convenience store/gas station chain founded in Pennsylvania whose hoagies and fast food items are beloved across the Mid-Atlantic.
The Buckeye state won't have to wait much longer.
The chain announced today that after "thousands of requests over the years to spread our wings further west," it will open new locations in an expansion into Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.
“At Wawa, growth means strengthening our existing markets as well as expanding to both adjacent and new markets so we can reach new friends and neighbors and welcome them as part of our extended family,” Chris Gheysens, Wawa’s President and CEO, said in a release. “These markets are the perfect places for Wawa to expand based on their strong business communities, their family-like atmosphere, and the confidence that our unique offer and amazing associates will be welcomed by these communities. We look forward to bringing our freshly prepared food, specialty beverages, fuel, and convenience services to these new areas all while creating new jobs and meaningful community support.”
Normally I would pass news relating to Ohio, and Cleveland in general on to my buddy Will Burge, but I think he got canned yesterday. Or Tate. But since the only thing I've ever seen him post that received positive feedback was a surgical takedown of Marty Mush, and I didn't want to see an elite franchise like Wawa catch shrapnel, I decided to take it myself.
Make no mistake, this is MASSIVE news, for Ohioans and Midwesterns alike.
Somehow, as time has evolved, the great state of Pennsylvania became king of Gas Station convenience stores.The have Sheetz, which I believe is based out of Pittsburgh, and Wawa, which I believe is based out of Philly.
Both are elite. And when I say elite I mean elite.
Stepping foot in one immediately ruins all other Gas Station experiences for you. (Except maybe for Buc Ee's down south).
I do a lot of traveling for the other 6 jobs I have outside of Barstool. I am sick and tired of the flying experience, end to end, and prefer to drive. As a result I've visited more rest stops than in-the-closet politicians and George Michael combined. With Sheetz already having been established in North East Ohio, I've been lucky to frequent them when there. Man oh man what an experience.
Aside from the insane menu items they offer and make, to order, in house, their bathrooms are spotless, their selection of drinks, chips, candy, and all other road trip essentials are astounding. They're also open around the clock, full menu included, in almost every location. While most businesses are trying to cut back every chance they get on labor, Sheetz is staffing their place with register clerks, and food prep employees at all their locations. Very commendable.
But enough about Sheetz.
Let's talk about Wawa announcing they're coming for that ass in Ohio. Finally.
This is major news because it means they're no longer just focused on dominating the Eastern Seaboard up and down. They're beginning their imperial march into the Midwest. And those lucky fuckers in Cleveland are the first to be spoiled. They better not fuck it up.
People on the East Coast/Mid Atlantic area are probably wondering why I'm making such a huge deal out of this but you fuckers need to understand that our gas stations and rest stops out here in the Midwest suck. Driving through Indiana you have the same exact 3 options at every rest stop unless you exit off in one of their thousands of bum-fuck towns and find something else. We're talking Burger King, Sbarro, and Starbucks at every single rest stop. Could be worse yes, but mix it up a little for crying out loud you guys.
In Chicago, it's even worse.
We have BPs, or Shells, and depending on where you are, you're limited to lottery tickets, cigarettes, energy drinks, and bullet proof glass between you and the cashier. If you want food you can roll the dice and help yourself to one of those hot dog looking things that have been rotating on the cylinder stove top for 11 days.
For some reason Chicagoans have it in their heads that the late White Hen Pantry (r.i.p.) was a "Chicago thing" and only existed there. I tell them we had them out East as well, (I think Cumberland Farms acquired them?), but they think I'm crazy. Ask anybody who's lived there long enough and they'll get all sentimental about how amazing White Hens were back in the day compared to the dog shit offerings of today.
Which is why Wawa eventually making its way there is colossal news.
Wawa is exactly like Sheetz in the ways I described above, except for one gigantic thing- they moonlight as an incredible sandwich shop as well.
I know what you're thinking, "get the fuck out of here Dante. Who gets their sandwiches from a gas station you piece of trash."
Trust me on this. I used to think the same way.
Then I tried an Italian grinder from Wawa and was blown the fuck away.
Now, is it in the same league as J.P. Graziano's, or Conte Di Savoy? No, obviously not.
But in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king, and when you're hungry late at night, or on the road and need a pit stop, having the luxury to treat yourself to a well prepared, made to order sandwich, HOT OR COLD, from a convenience store is real deal American privilege.
They also do a wonderful job at paying attention to the little things"
P.s. - Wawa also does this unreal breakfast sandwich that’s kind of like a McMuffin but it’s on a croissant roll, has egg, cheese, and this meat that’s either called Taylor Ham or pork roll. I’ve heard it called both. Whatever the hell it is, it is absolute fire. If the big guns at Wawa are reading this, please bring this delicacy westward with you. Please and thank you.