Buck-ees: A convenience store and more

Bill King Columnist


uck-ees in Auburn has opened!

We now have four of them in Alabama, and the newest one is only 15 miles from my house. Jean and I have been there, but not on opening day. About half of the residents of Opelika and Auburn did go, so we waited a few days.

We decided the let the initial rush pass and the crowd die down a little before we went to see the beaver. Locals were not the only ones who came. People came from everywhere…even from other states! I’m not only talking about vacationers who happened to be passing through our area, but some shoppers who traveled hundreds of miles.

They probably passed other Buc-ees, just to come to our Buc-ees! Some came early and camped out in the parking lot the night before the grand opening. There are several things in this world that I don’t understand, and now I have added one more. I don’t think there was any danger of them selling out on opening day!

I must admit that place is a site to behold. Someone said it is like the Disney World of convenience stores.

When I hear the words “convenience store,” I think of small stores that sell snacks and drinks, have a couple of restrooms, and maybe even a few gas pumps. I think of a place to make a quick-pit stop and be in and out in a few minutes. That is not Buc-ees! Buc-ee’s is not quick stop.

For many, it is not a place they just happened upon…it is a destination. First of all, they are about the size of Rhode Island. They originated in Texas, and everything seems to be bigger in Texas. If you go, plan on spending half a day!

They have more bathrooms than the Biltmore Mansion! The full-time restroom attendant keeps them sparking too.

They sell almost everything, except cars, although there is an old-antique truck parked inside the store.

They have enough fresh-cooked food in there to fully supply an annual church homecoming.

The large-brisket sandwich is more than enough to fill up a hungry man, and possibly even a small family.

They also have all kinds of baked goodies and those addictive Beaver Nuggets.

You can get gas there too, unless your truck has 18 wheels. No, not gas from the brisket, but from one of the 13,985 gasoline pumps. I pumped gas at Bernard Smith’s Citgo in Rainsville for a short time during my college days.

I thought we were uptown, because we had two islands and four pumps. Buc-ees has almost as many islands as the Pacific Ocean; however, don’t think you won’t have to wait in line, because amazingly they are usually all full. That probably is because the gas is cheaper than most places. We knew it was coming for over a year. We waited with eager anticipation. We said as soon as it opens, we are going, and we did…well, almost. I’ve never seen so much excitement over the opening of a convenience store, but then Buck-ees really isn’t a convenience store.

That’s kind of like saying that a Super Wal-Mart is a 5-and-10 store.

You don’t have to camp out there the night before, but if you’ve never been, go! 

For well over 50 years now, I’ve been waiting for another place to let me come see it. One day, although I’m not sure when, I’ll get to go there too. It is bigger than Buc-ee’s or Texas, and much better than both. It is, in fact, out of this world!


— Bill King is a native of Rainsville, where he and his wife graduated from Plainview High School. King is a writer, musician and author. His column appears in the Times-Journal Wednesday edition. Visit brobillybob.com for more information.

(1) comment


Glad to hear a nice perspective on Bucees. That being said, I really hope one never comes near us.

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