On Thursday, two new Wawa stores opened in Florida’s Broward County, just north of Miami. Judging from social media, smart, sensible Floridians with good taste were ecstatic.
— Jennifer Valliere (@_MsValliere) July 28, 2017
There were others, however, like Miami.com writer Connie Ogle, who remained skeptical — even though these Florida Wawas have chilled wine and a walk-in beer cooler.
— Miami.com (@Miamicom) July 27, 2017
Ogle shared a link to her article — “Wawa — glorified 7-Eleven or heaven on earth? Either way, it’s open now” — on her Facebook page. In the comments section, Ogle (whose profile picture is none other than Game of Thrones‘ Cersei Lannister) wrote: “There is NO WAY they are better than Publix subs. NO WAY.”
We don’t know what a Publix is, but it sounds like a restroom. One commenter wrote: “I feel like you’re just hoagie baiting here.”
Others tried to lead her to reason: “I think there’s a lot to be said for a reliably clean, competent outlet where you can get what you need at a higher quality than others in the field — think of it as the Target of gas station/convenience stores,” one woman wrote.
But perhaps the most shocking comment of all came from Denise Philipbar: “I’ve never been in one which seems to be blasphemy here in Philly.”
Does this Denise woman actually live in Philadelphia? Is she a human or a cyborg? Was any of this real life? We had to find out.
Philipbar, 56, is a fine arts painter and New Mexico native who has lived in Manayunk for about a year. She previously spent time in Philly while attending graduate school at the University of the Arts. Philipbar confirmed Friday that she has never stepped foot inside a Wawa. She said she’s “not a big hoagie person” but more than that, she doesn’t like the expanding chain’s name.
“I was like, ‘What a stupid name for a store,’ ” she said. “I had a thing about going into a place that sounds like what a toddler says when learning to speak to get my food.”
Philipbar said she doesn’t drink soda or smoke, and gets snacks from a grocery store. Still, she admitted that she has used the free air offered by the convenience store to pump up deflated tires. The audacity!
Philipbar doesn’t even wonder what makes Wawa so magical.
“I think I’m more curious about the new little French pastry shop they opened on the Main Line,” she said. “Maybe I’m a bit of a snob.”
After she was urged to think it over, Philipbar said she’d consider going inside a Wawa — someday.
“Maybe when I’m 60, I’ll venture in,” she said. “I’ll take a walk on the Wawa side.”