Although it poured most of Thursday, the wet weather did little to dampen the spirits of area residents elated by the opening of the new Sheetz on Freedom Road.
“I made a special trip to come down here today,” said Seven Fields resident Ryan Butler, who added he practically “lives” at Sheetz.
The new location opened at 8 a.m. Thursday. Just a few minutes prior, Sheetz vacated the building it had occupied for 26 years, which is located just a stone’s throw away from the new store. The move was part of “seamless transition,” according to Sheetz spokeswoman Monica Jones
Manager Joe Sancherr, who also worked at the old location, said he was thrilled with the new space, which features eight gas pumps, indoor and outdoor seating, an expanded food preparation area and more coffee options.
“Everything in our new store is bigger and better now,” he said.
That includes the parking.
The , which includes a separate stand-alone car wash, has 47 parking spaces. In contrast, the former four-pump location had 17 spaces. Sancherr said the old lot was so cramped that drivers feared for their safety.
“People were afraid to pull into the parking lot,” said.
Sancherr’s sentiment was one echoed by many customers in the new store.
“That was a mess over there,” added Butler. “It’s so nice to turn in and see a huge parking lot.”
A driver for Federal Express, Terry Cain, who visits the Cranberry Sheetz daily, said he had to park his tractor-trailer in a muddy plot of land behind the building to get to the old location.
“I hope they keep it trucker friendly,” he said of the new store.
Moon resident Kim Ebsworth, who said she visits the Freedom Road Sheetz at least three times a week because two of her children takes lessons at Pittsburgh Superstars Cheer and Dance in Cranberry, called the parking “so much better.”
“We’re so happy,” she said.
Sheetz has already removed its signage from the old location, which it leased from LG Realty Advisors Inc. Sancherr said 23 employees transferred from the old location to the new one. In addition, he estimated he hired at least 22 new people.
“People have been talking about this for months. They’re so excited,” he said of the opening day. “All our regulars showed up.”
Have you checked out the new Sheetz yet? What do you think? Did you fear for your safety in the old parking lot? What do you think should happen to the former Sheetz location?