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Buc-ee’s Athens: 10 awesomely random things you can buy there

AL.com 11/22/2022 Matt Wake, al.com
The Buc-ee’s convenience store in Athens, Alabama. © Matt Wake/al.com/TNS The Buc-ee’s convenience store in Athens, Alabama.

Buc-ee’s is the Death Star of convenience stores. If Obi Wan Kenobi himself was approaching one, the aging Jedi might gasp, “That’s no moon, it’s a gas station.” The enormity is that striking.

The third Alabama location of Buc-ee’s, a Texas-founded chain, is at 2328 Lindsay Lane South, off Interstate 65 and Browns Ferry Road. It’s about a 30-minute drive from downtown Huntsville. On the outside at Buc-ee’s, 120 gas pumps lined up like a trippy visual from some petroleum-oriented “Fantasia” reboot. Inside the store, 53,470-square-feet of artery-clogging/impulse-buy heaven.

The Buc-ee’s convenience store in Athens, Alabama. © Matt Wake/al.com/TNS The Buc-ee’s convenience store in Athens, Alabama.

Before the Nov. 21 opening of Buc-ee’s, the most popular thing about Athens, an Alabama city with a population around 27,000, was the Grammy-winning rock band Alabama Shakes. Now it feels like the Shakes would be the opening act and Buc-ee’s cartoon beaver mascot the headliner.

Arriving around 9:45 a.m. Monday, I had to drive around the entire Buc-ee’s lot twice to find a parking space. Even then, had to quasi-invent a space to finally park. Later, after milling around inside the store for around 90 minutes, it was a complete cluster exiting the parking lot. (The entrance and exit ways are surprisingly minimal for a place that goes big in seemingly every other capacity.)

The Buc-ee’s convenience store in Athens, Alabama. © Matt Wake/al.com/TNS The Buc-ee’s convenience store in Athens, Alabama.

RELATED: Buc-ee’s first-timer’s guide: What to expect at the ultimate gas station and convenience store

People are bonkers for Buc-ee’s. The chain is popular enough they didn’t even bother slapping their name on the tall sign visible from the highway nearing the Athens location. A circular logo of Buc-ee’s beaver and the words “ATHENS” are all that’s needed.

You might expect an Alabama mega-mart opening to skew heavy on Cousin Eddie’s family from “Vacation” types. But mostly at Buc-ee’s in Athens, it was a mix of everything else: Black and white, young and old, blue collar and white collar, yoga-pants and sweatpants.

The interior of the Athens Buc-ee’s smells better than my current residence does. Cleaner too. And the people that work at Buc-ee’s are way nice. Walking in the front door, you get greeted with enough “Welcome to Buc-ee’s” from the nearby cashiers you feel semi-famous.

Besides the fantastic array of snacks, beverages, brisket sandwiches, etc., Buc-ee’s is known for cleanliness. After visiting the Athens store, it’s easy to see why. There’s a throng of red-clad human Roombas constantly orbiting the floor. Spraying, wiping, sweeping. The men’s restroom isn’t particularly fancy — Hampton Inn smokes ‘em on style points — but a Buc-ee’s can’s probably cleaner than some fast casual dining rooms.

Outside the store, a Buc-ee’s employee was cleaning the glass on all the fire extinguisher cases between the gas pumps. After my enjoyable time perusing the store, out on the sidewalk I put my bag of purchased items down so I could mess with my phone. Within about 45 seconds, an employee was asking if the bag was mine and if they could pick it up. If cleanliness is next to holiness, Buc-ee’s beaver is approaching deity status.

The Buc-ee’s convenience store in Athens, Alabama. © Matt Wake/al.com/TNS The Buc-ee’s convenience store in Athens, Alabama.

Buc-ee’s signature products include their own brand of jerky, ready-made-foods, candies, coffee, beaver-this-beaver-that, etc. Below are 10 awesomely random items you’ll also find among the store’s stock in Athens.

The Buc-ee’s convenience store in Athens, Alabama. © Matt Wake/al.com/TNS The Buc-ee’s convenience store in Athens, Alabama.

CRYSTAL HEAD SKULL, $398

BUC-EE’S BOXERS, $10

The Buc-ee’s convenience store in Athens, Alabama. © Matt Wake/al.com/TNS The Buc-ee’s convenience store in Athens, Alabama.

MACHETE, $25

DARTH VADER FUNKO FIGURE, $12

YUKON COOLER, $350

The Buc-ee’s convenience store in Athens, Alabama. © Matt Wake/al.com/TNS The Buc-ee’s convenience store in Athens, Alabama.

ACRYLIC PAINTING, $200

The Buc-ee’s convenience store in Athens, Alabama. © Matt Wake/al.com/TNS The Buc-ee’s convenience store in Athens, Alabama.

ICEE SLUSHEE MAKING MACHINE, $125

COWBOY HAT, $60

CAST IRON SKILLET, $25

RAY BAN SUNGLASSES, $183

MORE ON BUC-EE’S

Buc-ee’s first-timer’s guide

To mask or not to mask? Here’s what shoppers decided at Buc-ee’s in Alabama

How Buc-ee’s took America by storm

Buc-ee’s in Alabama: Texas-sized convenience store is a destination in itself

Make room, Texas: Alabama welcomes ‘novelty destination’ that is Buc-ee’s

Why Buc-ee’s chose Alabama for its first non-Texas supersized travel center

©2022 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit al.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

The Buc-ee’s convenience store in Athens, Alabama. © Matt Wake/al.com/TNS The Buc-ee’s convenience store in Athens, Alabama. The Buc-ee’s convenience store in Athens, Alabama. © Matt Wake/al.com/TNS The Buc-ee’s convenience store in Athens, Alabama.
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