Pop quiz: Which gas station / convenience store / travel stop is the best in Oklahoma?

You may have answered with an On-Cue, a Rudy’s, or one of those newer 7-Elevens. You may have also said QuikTrip, which seems like a good answer until you realize more than half of our state doesn’t have them.

Unfortunately, most of the gas stations around can best be described as fly-infested, shit-stained or mediocre-at-best. This can often leave travelers feeling like a gas station is nothing more than a necessary evil. But as I learned this past weekend, during a road trip to New Orleans, that doesn’t always have to be the case. There’s always a…

Yes, Buc-ee’s! The Texas-based super travel stops that serves as gas station gods.

Walking into a Buc-ee’s feels like pilfering through Mary Poppin’s bag — there’s everything you could want there. Biblical amounts of beef jerky? Got it. Western decor to make a Midwest mother proud? You bet. Enough snacks and trademark Beaver Nuggets to overfeed a small country? It’s Texas-sized for a reason, pal.

In case you were curious, these are beaver nuggets:

Remember cereal from your childhood? It’s basically this.

One of the hallmarks of a gas station stop is the bathroom visit. This is where all disease and odd smells meet a rogue pubic hair on a toilet rim. Not to mention the puddle of pee you have to step over and ignore. This is where my admiration turned into obsession.

These gargantuan bathrooms are where restrooms meet luxury. A large variety of well-spaced urinals wait along each wall of the men’s room, with enough sinks to wash sin away. The toilet stalls are fully enclosed with functioning locks. I’m not sure what the women’s restroom was like, but I can only assume it was like a giant she-shed filled with potpourri and lit by moonlight.

There are other things to like about Buc-ee’s. From what I’ve heard, employees’ wages begin at $13-$15 an hour. It then jumps to $20 and up…plus 40+ hour work week, 401K, healthcare and three weeks of paid time off.

So, why doesn’t Oklahoma have a Buc-ee’s? What’s wrong with venturing north of the Red River? It’s just an arbitrary border, right?

According to a well-titled feature article in Texas Monthly, I guess it has to do with supply chain economics and not wanting to be the next Whataburger:

In the eighties, Whataburger embarked on an aggressive expansion strategy outside Texas. The company added menu items like popcorn shrimp salads and steak sandwiches that it hoped would diversify its appeal. Instead, the company failed to catch on in locations including Las Vegas and Memphis, where residents greeted the arrival of new Whataburgers with little enthusiasm. “We got spread too thin,” one Whataburger executive told Texas Monthly in 2000. “People didn’t know who we were. We didn’t have that Texas heritage and Texas tradition to play off of.”

Whataburger eventually righted itself, partially by retrenching, but the lesson remains. Sometimes a business can expand beyond its appeal. Sometimes the magic that makes people identify emotionally with a profit-seeking enterprise can evaporate. Maybe the good people of Alabama and Florida will thrill to Buc-ee’s just as much as Texans do. Or maybe they’ll look at the Disney World of convenience stores and just see an oversized convenience store.

“Buc-ee’s kind of has that cachet of being a rare place, so if they expand too big, too quickly, they could lose some of that charm,” said Greg Lindenberg, an editor at convenience-store trade publication CSP Daily News. “I remember when you couldn’t get Coors beer and Krispy Kreme doughnuts [in a lot of places], and once you could get those things, you realized, ‘They’re okay, but I’m not sure what all the fuss was about.’ ”

To Arch Alpin III, the owner/ founder of Buc-ee’s, I would just like to say that the Oklahoma City metro has proudly supported Whataburger all these years and would likely do the same for Buc-ee’s—especially if it happened to be at a location just south of Norman. Once again, it’s not like we have a QuikTrip to turn to. We welcome a Buc-ee’s invasion in Oklahoma with open arms!

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27 Responses

  1. The way the moonlight hits the mountain of potpourri is truly something to behold.
    But seriously, the women’s sounds like the men’s room except replace those well spaced urinals with even more stalls and you probably have it about right. Every time I go to one my brain tries to tell me there must be a mirror because it couldn’t be *that* big.

  2. Did you do any research before writing this? Bucee’s has opened a location in Alabama and broke ground in Florida. They will probably be located in Oklahoma before too long.

    1. It’s Brandon…
      hot takes are more important than research or facts.

  3. Congratulations on traveling to Texas and visiting one of its notable institutions along the interstate.

    Oklahoma doesn’t deserve a Buccees. I could see one appearing near the southern border, but no further north. The mystique of traveling through Texas and visiting a Buccees makes the experience unique. There’s no way the quality nor the cleanliness of the place would last if one was built in Oklahoma.

    1. Stupid comment. Oncue and Buc-ee’s share a partnership. Though not as large per service station, the cleanliness and customer service surpasses Buc-ee’s.

      1. Not even close.

    2. Screw you keep your ass in Texass

  4. Oklahoma is way too slow of a state to get a buccees. Buccees would go out of business due to lack of sales. Even Oklahoma City is to slow for Buccees.

  5. Uh…..Oncue and Buc-ee’s is the same company. So, those “fly infested” convenient stores in Oklahoma are also Bud-ee’s. Uninformed writer of this article. Good grief!

    1. No, they’re not, Mr. Uniformed Internet Commenter.


      1. Nicely done!

  6. The ideal place for a Buc-ee’s in Oklahoma would be either at the State Highway 33 exit off I-35 in Guthrie, or perhaps a little further up. It would allow them to catch both the northbound interstate traffic and the folks going to Stillwater.

    Putting one south of Norman would potentially cannibalize business from the new Buc-ee’s that just opened in Denton. If you’re already on the way to Dallas, you’re already have a Buc-ee’s you’re going to go past.

  7. I love Buc-ees! I live in Oklahoma as well and when we go to Texas I always look for one. Honestly, I dont see it making here in Oklahoma. Theres a different kind of vibe. But that’s just my opinion.

  8. I love Buccees. We had one in ElCampo, TX. But, Buccee’s sold to Stripes. No comparison. Stripes is dirty, always out of ice and gas. Not enough workers, so many disappointments. It was a smaller Bucees, but at least we have one 14 miles away.

  9. If Buccee’s isn’t as good as the Shit-N-Git or the Stop-N-Rob, then fuck it. I have my standards.

  10. There is a Buccee’s just off I-35W in the shadow of the Texas Motor Speedway. Texas Motor Speedway has a capacity of 181,655 people. With all the campers parked there some events have exceeded 200,000 people. To put this in perspective this is almost twice the population of Norman.

    The point is the Speedway alone could keep that Buccee’s in business. When you add the traffic that passes by on it on I-35 the number of potential customers that pass by it is unbelievable. There are no sites like this in Oklahoma, so you will probably never see one in Oklahoma, there are still sites in Texas for them to grow.

    When you walk into that Buccee’s you will see a sign advertising for workers, showing you the hourly pay, as well as the benefits they offer. I’m guessing the rates are as high as they are is that they frequently need to bring in extra workers, when there are events at the track, and for times when there are more people on the road. The economy is quite a bit stronger in Texas, and the owner realizes you need to make sure you have a good pool of workers when you need them for your business to grow.

    That isn’t part of the Oklahoma Standard, but explains how capitalism can benefit all. Perhaps if Oklahoma encouraged all businesses, rather than just giving tax incentives and rebates to a few connected businesses things could improve in Oklahoma.

  11. The only place it should be is in Stroud. But they are putting some bizarre thing on one side of the road in Chandler, cannibalizing the traffic.

  12. When i first entered buccees i felt as if i had died and gone to heaven. I’ve been looking for buccees every since i visited texas. I have not seen one in georgia where i reside now. I await your arrival. Albert spruill

  13. Oklahoma needs a lot of things, such as one of the national grocery chains like HyVee, Krogers, Smitty’s, etc. But Walmart has a death-grip on groceries so no other chain can survive. I have had Wahlburgers and Shake Shack in Dallas and Olathe and Kansas City, In & Out in Dallas, on & on, outlets that will never be available here. Buc-ee’s will remain just one of the perks of a road-trip to Texas, but only if you are going down the I-35 corridor, there aren’t any west of there, which is most of Texas. Personally, I avoid ANY possible need to drive I-35 and its nightmare of people insisting on driving 85 no matter what the speed limit is, but that’s another story.

    1. Kinda sucks if you have an old car or a bike and you just want to toodle down the 2 lane, because so many states are deleting them. No more old 77 past Thackerville!

  14. Bring it on! The first time I saw on I was in love! We need more than in Oklahoma!

  15. What exactly is the reason Quik Trip isn’t in the OKC area?

  16. Buc-ee’s is jerky heaven.

  17. I went to Buc-ees in Denton recently. My first time at this place. I loved it!!! The salted carmel fudge and tiger fudge ( peanut butter & chocolate) are so yummy 😋!!!

  18. I think Buc-cees is great. I have a personal connection to the company, and Buc-cees started near my hometown in the 80s. Smaller Buc-cees stores are scattered across an area just south of Houston.

    I do want to point out that the fantastic super Buc-cees built recently cater to road trippers, no local markets. Maybe I’m not very picky, but I think 7-11 and OnCue do just fine serving local areas. And I’ll also point out that 7-11, for one, pays nearly twice minimum wage.

  19. Will someone photoshop the Buc-ee’s logo on a Thunder jersey?!?!?!?!

  20. I have to say, most of the Love’s restrooms I’ve been in have been very clean.

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