EXETER TOWNSHIP — The Sheetz that stood on the corner of Route 422 and Sunset Drive for the past 20 years is now officially closed, but construction is moving along on a new store four miles west.
Nick Ruffner, the public relations manager for the Altoona-based convenience store chain, confirmed that the Sheetz on eastbound Route 422, which opened Oct. 6, 1999, closed at the end of June.
The new store, located at the site of the former Bowl-O-Rama, is tentatively slated to open on Sept. 5, Ruffner said.
Meanwhile, employees from the original store have been transferred to other stores in the area to continue earning paychecks while construction continues on the new store.
That new store rests on the former location of the bowling alley at 4100 Perkiomen Ave., hallowed ground for bowlers and pool players since the 1950s.
The property was bought by BT Management LLC. Settlement was made on the property in February.
BT, which has developed several Sheetz stores, will lease 2.3 acres of the 3.44-acre site to Sheetz. Mavis Tire will occupy the remaining lot.
Sheetz has more than 500 stores in six states, including nine in Berks County.
The new Exeter store will join a growing list of Sheetz stores that sell beer and wine, and it will feature a 30-square-foot indoor seating area where alcohol can be consumed.
Customers will be able to legally drink up to two bottles or cans of the alcoholic beverages on site. Proper identification will be required for all alcohol purchases.
"We card everybody," Ruffner said. "Sheetz sells a variety of age-restricted products, so making sure those get into the right hands is important to us."
The new store will also have outdoor seating and 12 sheltered gas pumps.