WALLINGFORD — Two local gas stations and convenience stores reopened last week, remodeled inside and rebranded with Dunkin’ Express kiosks.
The Citgo locations at 326 S. Colony Road (Route 5) and 259 Quinnipiac St. are still under construction, but open for business. They closed Dec. 6 and reopened just for gas Dec. 21.
The stores, now called Atlantis Fresh Market, will continue to offer groceries, snacks, cold drinks, ice, automotive care items and other sundries.
The self-serve Dunkin’ Express areas have the familiar beverages and baked goods.
The stores were renovated with new sheet rock, ceilings and floors.
“Everything is brand spanking new,” said Laura Jay, manager of the Quinnipiac Street store, on Monday.
Her store still has to have the cooler doors replaced, but “the big parts are over,” Jay said. “I’m relieved to be back in the swing of things.”
Each store has six employees. Some used vacation time during the construction period, some had an unpaid break.
Phyllis Phelps, manager of the Route 5 store, said Monday that her store is slated to receive a kitchen area with an oven and fryer to prepare hot food, including pizza, wings and nachos.
The food area will be ready in two or three weeks, she said.
“It’s going to be really nice,” Phelps said. “It really needed a facelift. I’ve been here over 18 years in this store, and it really needed an upgrade. Now it’s totally upgraded.”
She said that customers have reacted positively to the changes.
“They all love it,” she said. “A lot of them are Dunkin’ Donuts fans so they’re really excited about that. And they’re excited about the food.”
It was unclear whether the parking lots also were going to be included in the upgrades. The renovated stores represent a significant investment from new owner Atlantis Management Group.
A Texas-based company, CH Realty VIII/CG CT Atlantis, purchased both properties in November 2017. The Quinnipiac Street property was purchased for nearly $1.8 million and the Route 5 property for $1.9 million, according to town records.
The Route 5 location has eight gas pumps with video advertising and a 2,080-square-foot convenience store, built in 1984. The Quinnipiac Street location has four pumps and a 2,360-square-foot convenience store, built in 1967.