A confession: One small matter that has kept me from feeling like a complete and true Philadelphian is that I have no loyalty — none — to Wawa.
This is not entirely my fault. When I moved to the city in 2008, it was impossible to avoid the chain’s catchy commercials urging viewers to “start your day on a roll/with a Wawa breakfast hoagie.” The tune was relentlessly cheery, relentlessly overplayed and simply relentless. I think I spent November of that year singing the jingle to myself over and over again. Wawa tried to capture my mind, and it certainly did.
It was just never around to capture my heart.
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We’ve had our quibbles with Buzzfeed’s Philly listicles in the past. But we’re totally on board with this one.
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Listen, I love Wawa as much as the rest of you, but if you’re a serious Wawa-aholic, be warned: Some of your favorite seasonal eats and drinks aren’t doing your waistline any favors. While I’m not of the opinion that you should abstain all together—especially if the butternut squash and apple soup is your jam—you might want to think twice about making Wawa pitstops a daily ritual.
I took a look at Wawa’s menu to sleuth out the nutrition facts for some of its most popular items this time of year, from soups to sides to hot drinks. Here’s how it shakes out.
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There are a lot of things to love about Wawa. But one thing to hate about Wawas? Parking. Check out this list of the five worst Wawa parking lots in the area. And be sure to add your own least favorites to the map.
The 5 Worst Wawa Parking Lots in the Philly Area [Philadelphia Magazine]
Oh my dear Wawa. I love your coffee. I love your hoagies. I love that I can leave my house and be at two of you within 10 minutes.
But you’re far from perfect. I hate that you closed down some of your shore locations because they couldn’t sell gas. I hate that you took so long to repair those shore Wawas after Sandy.
But most of all, I hate Wawa parking lots.
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We haven’t seen the new chairs and tables at Wawa, but we imagine this is what they look like.
The Inky’s Joseph DiStefano discovers that the new Wawa on Route 202—between Wilmington and Concordville—has chairs. And tables. He writes: “This 16-gas-pump, hoagies-smokes-snacks-and-Cokes shop adds four two-seater metal tables on the porch sidewalk, amid the square, stone porch pillars, inviting customers to sit awhile.” It’s based on an experiment at the company’s Florida stores. Of course, in Florida, they have sunshine in January. Philadelphia? Not as much. It’ll be fun to see the table used to create snow drifts, though.
Last week, a drunk Penn student was seen “droppin’ trou and lettin’ loose” in a bush near 39th and Spruce. A couple nights later, another damning report trickled in to the mailboxes of the Daily Pennsylvanian.
At approximately 2:30am a few nights ago, we received this tip:
Uh a girl just peed on the floor in Wawa. She also stayed to shop and had to be forcibly ejected.
Why, Wawa Wee-Wee Woman?
On a more sanitary note, we later found out that her blessed friends stayed in Wawa to pick up her sandwich and other dining accoutrements before fleeing the scene.
Penn: Since more liquor stores are coming to campus, it’s only right to provide more bathrooms for the poor, drunken students who’ve lost all control of their internal plumbing.
The U.S. Secretary of Education may be calling us out, but at least one tourist was prettttty impressed by the 4.5 tons of hoagies being scarfed on Independence Mall yesterday afternoon as part of the Welcome America Festival (That’s 9,000 pounds.)
Rachel Bobrow, from New York, was tagging along with her husband while he works in Philadelphia for the week. Overall, she was impressed with the event and the city. “I had no idea Philadelphia is so far along,” Bobrow said.
Philadelphia: That place between DC and New York where you can eat sandwiches. [Daily News]
In southeastern Pennsylvania, it’s an article of faith that Wawa represents all that is good in the world, while all other convenience stores — Sheetz in particular — stand for all that is not.
Last week, though, Wawa’s corporate-citizen bona fides took a bit of a beating when it came to light that the company was circulating a document around the state capital that seemed to argue against implementing a $2-per-pack cigarette tax in Philadelphia to help fund its ailing schools. (State and federal taxes already equal more than $2.50 per pack.) It read, in part:
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The people of Philadelphia are well acquainted with the charms of Wawa, but they mostly tend to be expressed in terms of love for the chain’s prepared-on-the-spot sandwiches. It turns out the company isn’t just a hoagie flogger, though: It’s a merchant of the devil himself, selling those evil cancer sticks known as cigarettes.
Which explains why the company is circulating “literature” that seems to warn against City Council’s decision to levy a new cigarette tax to help Philly’s schools survive, with warnings that Philly customers will merely cross the border to Jersey and Delware to buy their smokes, rather than pony up the extra dough to make sure their children at least benefit from their horrible life’s mistakes.
However, Wawa spokeswoman Lori Bruce said the convenience store chain does not oppose state-enabling legislation that would allow Philadelphia to tax cigarettes.
“[The literature] was shared in an effort to present all available facts on this complex issue and is not indicative of a position on the issue,” she said. “It should not be interpreted as our opposing the effort.”
Bruce said the literature circulated by Wawa features “industry concerns” based on “well-known facts and previously published industry experiences.”
She also emphasized that Wawa supports efforts to save Philly’s public schools. Everybody wants that. But nobody wants to pay for it.