By DONALD WITTKOWSKI
Gotta have a Wawa? Sorry, not for a while.
Wawa customers will have to wait a little longer before they can get their next cup of freshly brewed coffee or a made-to-order hoagie in Sea Isle City.
The city’s only Wawa is surrounded by a chain-link construction fence and signs announcing “Closed For Remodel.”
The tiny store, a throwback to the modest Wawas of yesteryear, is undergoing renovations to upgrade the interior as well as to give it a more updated look.
Wawa corporate spokeswoman Lori Bruce said the remodeling is expected to be completed by May 14.
“During the closure, the store will receive updated graphics and signage as well as interior upgrades including new LED lighting, digital signage, new cabinets, and floor and ceiling tiles, to name a few,” Bruce said in an email Friday.
Some minor layout changes in the coffee and specialty beverage area will also be done, allowing Wawa to add “handcrafted, made-to-order milkshakes” to the store’s selections, Bruce added.
“We look forward to reopening with these enhancements,” she said.
In an era of the big, modern Super Wawa stores that include gas stations, the Sea Isle store at the corner of 38th Street and Landis Avenue is an anachronism.
Built 35 years ago, the quaint store serves as a reminder of what it was like to shop at Wawa in the 1980s, long before the popular “Gottahava Wawa” marketing slogan came into vogue.
Wawa originally planned to expand the Sea Isle store by 1,500 square feet as part of more sweeping changes. But it ditched those more elaborate plans in favor of a renovation that includes remodeling the interior, making cosmetic changes to the exterior and adding a new sign, according to the construction permit issued by the city in March.
The outdated, nondescript exterior is expected to be given a contemporary facelift highlighted by a big Wawa sign perched over the front entrance overlooking Landis Avenue in downtown Sea Isle.