SUWANEE -- Baristas are coming to a gas station near you.
QuikTrip, which has operated in Atlanta for 25 years, is expected to complete construction and open a Suwanee location that features "a Generation 3 store." QT Spokesman Mike Thornbrugh said he expects the store will open Thursday.
The QuikTrip Corporation bought 3.96 acres from Kathleen and Eugene Walls in August 2010, and will open a gas station and convenience store at the 3359 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road address, at the intersection with Satellite Boulevard.
The Walls have said that they have no hard feelings toward QT, and feel fortunate that given the economic downturn, the company was looking to buy.
Thornbrugh said the 5,700-square-foot facility will be noticeably bigger than older stores, and will have two front entryways and two side doors, to disperse foot traffic inside the store. It will be "completely different from the outside and inside," Thornbrugh said. It's about 1,100 square feet more than the older stores.
The Generation 3 store will have employees, some call "baristas," who prepare hot and cold drinks, smoothies and fresh food. It's a departure from the self-service model QT has used previously.
"If we don't get you with the 'wow' factor, we haven't done our job," Thornbrugh said.
QT will look to expand on its "grab-and-go" section, as Thornbrugh said customers want something they can eat in their car, or take to work or home. That section includes pastas, lasagna and pizzas.
The company has recently opened Generation 3 stores in Charlotte, N.C., and Anderson, S.C. The concept was tested in Tulsa, Okla., about three years ago.
"We're not big on store counts, we're big on population," Thornbrugh said. "We're chasing population."
QuikTrip has about 600 stores in 10 states.