By 6 a.m., more than 50 people were lined up waiting to look for fudge, T-shirts and jerky Monday at the grand opening of Buc-ee’s in far north Fort Worth across from Texas Motor Speedway.
The 60,000-square-foot travel center, located at the southwest corner of Texas 114 and Interstate 35W, is the first Metroplex location for the south Texas chain known for its vast rows of gas pumps, wide selection of snacks and clean restrooms. Another Buc-ee’s is being built in Denton, along I-35E near Brinker Road.
The store was buzzing with energy before dawn. Longtime Buc-ee’s fan Rachael Reed of Roanoke, 18, got up at 4 a.m. and said she felt like a 5-year-old waking up on Christmas morning.
Greg Wingert, a 10-year Buc-ee’s employee and store operations manager from Houston, said he loves the customers because their energy feeds the employees.
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“Our credo is clean, friendly and in stock,” Wingert said. “We really push those because we know it’s what people want.”
Jerky, cinnamon rolls, candied nuts and fudge samples were handed out and many people stopped to take a picture with the chain’s mascot, Buc-ee the beaver, as well as with a giant inflatable beaver facing I-35W. Gas prices started at $1.98 for regular and diesel.
The new store also featured some local touches including Buc-ee’s Fort Worth TX shirts and TCU souvenir items.
Cheryl Campbell drove in from Lewisville to experience Buc-ee’s for the first time. She lit up as she described the clean restrooms.
Twin Tran, 24, of Fort Worth came with his friend Eric Perez, 22, to taste jerky and get a big brisket sandwich.
“We want to tell our kids we were there for the opening of that Buc-ee’s,” Tran said.
Reed’s obsession started four years ago after she stopped at the Buc-ee’s in Temple for the first time.
“I like to think this is Texas’ graduation gift to Fort Worth,” Reed said.
According to the company’s website, the new store is Buc-ee’s 25th location.
This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.
Azia Branson: 817-390-7547, @aziabranson