Racket’s workforce is down 25% this week. Time to rank the gas stations! Did I miss your favorite? Sound off loudly and angrily in the comments.
You could hate Speedway for killing Super Mom and her corporate home, Woodbury-based Super America (RIP). You could hate it for its recent anti-union bullshit. You could hate the fact that new parent company 7-Eleven isn’t transitioning its Speedway stores. We certainly do.
Royal Dutch Shell claims to be the greenest petroleum company. When you’re done laughing, hop along to the next blurb.
Still haven’t forgiven ’em for fucking up the Gulf of Mexico. Plus many of the metro stores feel more like glorified kiosks.
Like the other customer-facing shops of the Big Oil villains, there’s a void of personality. Where’s the heart, knowingly complicit engineers of climate change?
9. Marathon Gas
Remember that “anti-union bullshit” comment? It was actually related to Speedway’s reliance on the Marathon refinery in St. Paul, where a strike ended last summer. I can’t think of one defining trait related to the storefronts.
Whenever I see an ARCO in the wild, I think to myself: The fuck’s an ARCO?
Props for the green/orange color scheme and ambitiously acronymy name: Minnesota Independent Oil Company. Huh!
6. Bobby & Steve’s Auto World
While I’m not a fan of the vibes, one has to respect the grandiose language used by the 59-year-old local company on its exhaustive history page: “By this point, one would think that the Bobby & Steve’s Auto World dream had been fulfilled. However, in 2011, Bobby built the ‘most amazing’ Auto World in Eden Prairie.” Gotta make the pilgrimage.
5. 36 Lyn Refuel Station
Anecdotally, I recall this former BP always having great gas prices. Now it’s owned by Lonnie McQuirter, who comes off like a delightful fellow in this recent Spokesman-Recorder profile.
4. Costco Biz Center
Alright this isn’t so much a “station” as a brand-new hub of pumps, but good lord you’ll save some money and feel, for perhaps the first time ever, like part of something at the southern edge of the Minneapolis’ only Costco.
3. Pump n’ Munch
If you’re familiar with sex, you’ll find a lot to like about this brand name. Also the lil cartoon snackin’ mascot? Whole lotta fun. The locations have individual, ramshackle bodega-ish vibes, which is a pleasant departure from the cookie-cutter nature of the big corporate chains. Heads up if you, like me, patronize the 400 E. 46th St. location: “Watch out for Sean S. He huffs gas and steals beef jerky,” warns one Foursquare user.
Holiday Stationstores always out-classed Super Americas, and now that the latter chain was further sullied by Speedway, it’s truly no contest inside city limits. The stores are well-stocked, spacious, and they’ve got those coffee machines where each cup is ground fresh. This formerly Bloomington-based company with 600ish locations throughout 10 states used to be the emblematic Minnesota gas station. Then it sold out to Canadians in 2017, spurring rumors in the dorkiest corners of the internet that Holidays might rebrand as Circle Ks. (My three emails to Circle K’s comms team went unreturned.) With that home state backstabbing in mind, we don’t have reservations about bestowing this oily crown to…
1. Kwik Trip
The platonic ideal of a gas station. It’s as if god himself molded each Kwik Trip from concrete, gasoline, Glazer doughnuts, and manna from heaven. The bathrooms are gleaming pissing-cathedrals; the food—including newish entries like fried chicken and Pothole frozen pizzas—has no business being so good, and the expertly carbonated pop hits even better with the proprietary granular ice chunks. We could take of leave the sassy brand account, but its Gen Z handlers are keenly aware of the cult of Kwik Trip: The Wisconsin-based company even has its own merch line.
Will Minneapolis and/or St. Paul finally get a Kwik Trip of their own? I asked KT executive Dean George back in March and he told me:
“I saw you inquired at our guest services center about expansion plans in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area. A lot of those plans are confidential, but I will tell you we’re going to keep putting stores up in and around the metro area when sites become available for the foreseeable future. Thanks for wondering.”