Richmond, Kentucky is at this bizarre crossroads between North and South. It’s home to the farthest north Belk Department Store a (huge department store chain in the South) and home to the farthest south Meijer store (a huge department store chain in the North). It’s home to the farthest south LaRosa’s pizzeria and Skyline chili. And now it is also home to the farthest north Buc-ee’s gas station.
Richmond, Kentucky is a college town (home of Eastern Kentucky University), so it draws students and families from all over the North and South, so I think chains like to come to town and tap into their audience, which happens to be on the edge of both.
Calling Buc-ees a gas station, though, is like calling Disney World a park. I mean, yeah, Buc-ee’s is a gas station, but it is also so, so much more. Yes, it is a gas station. With 120 pumps, it is massive. And it’s all cars, no trucks allowed. So Buc-ee's Richmond Kentucky is full of travelers, but no trucks.
The giant, sprawling Buc-ees store is like visiting a Target or a Walmart. Inside there are gifts, gadgets, and a full-line bakery, sandwich station, and snack depot. The chain is apparently known for its beef jerky, a fact I brushed off on my first visit. Me and beef jerky don’t have much history together. Maybe I’d tried a Slim Jim or two when I was a kid, but that is about it. Still, I was intrigued by the lines for the jerky, so on my second visit I tried two pieces of teriyaki jerky and all I can say is wow, just wow. I am usually so-so on meat, a lot of meat can be bland, but this jerky was melt-in-your-mouth full of flavor. I may have to order some (they ship).
Okay, here are some photos:
I took this photo from my car, shows the sprawling gas station with over 100 pumps.
I would have to think that staffing and running a store this ambitious and sprawling would be very costly, so, yeah, I'm skeptical about how this will do long-term, say, 20 years from now.
Here is the check-out area. This was my main qualm about the store, it's this massive, massive store with like two registers ringing people out. Causes a bit of a bottleneck at check-out.
A bunch of stuffed Buc-ee's, I almost picked a couple up for my daughters but they have plenty of stuffed animals.
Apparently, Buc-ee's is known for its brisket and beef jerky. Cooks in festive yellow jerseys would let loose whoops and cheers periodically as they piled the counters high with brisket sandwiches.
I didn't try the sausage-on-a-stick at the Buc-ee's Richmond Kentucky.
A whole section of gifts, like this cookware.
So, yeah, if you are traveling, finding a Buc-ee's is well worth the time and effort. They are also known for their ultra-clean, cleanest-ever public restrooms. So I did test them out and, yeah, they were pretty darn clean.