The nation's capital is a better place as of Thursday morning.
That's because D.C.'s first Wawa opened at 1111 19th Street NW to great fanfare at 8 a.m. In my capacity as the official Free Beacon Wawa correspondent, I was invited to check out the store the day before. Of the many Wawas I've been to in my life—from Pennsylvania to New Jersey to Delaware to Maryland to Florida—this was easily the most impressive.
For starters, it's the biggest Wawa on the planet at over 9,000 square feet.
While that isn't enough space to fit the overflow crowds that flooded the place on opening day, it is enough to keep that flood moving as they buy their Wawa coffee, Wawa milk, Wawa iced tea, or order custom-made breakfast hoagies or soups or salads or wraps or flatbread or club sandwiches or whatever else they can concoct via the touchscreen kiosk. There's even enough space to provide them with some classy seating options—indoor and out. A nice upgrade over existing Wawas throughout the country.
I mean, sometimes you simply don't want to wait until you get home to devour your Classic Italian hoagie with onions and extra mayo, soft pretzel, and Wawa peach iced tea. I, for one, am glad Wawa has finally realized this.
The seating isn't the only new thing at the D.C. Wawa. The urban industrial design of the location is unique, clean, and classy. There's an impressive giant neon goose sign set on brick, a goose mural that incorporates the D.C. flag painted onto subway tile, and even a tap for the new Nitro cold brew coffee blend that's brewed in the same fashion as the Guinness that pours from the tap at your local pub.
Oh, and there's a huge interactive touchscreen wall that shows off Wawa's impressive history, which dates back to the founding of the Wawa Dairy Farms in 1902.
None of that matters if the food doesn't live up to the delicious reputation Wawa has forged over the years, right? Well, I'm happy to report my Shorti Italian featured the same baked-in-store Amoroso's bread, fresh cold cuts, crisp onions, smooth mayo, tangy oil and vinegar, and creamy provolone they serve up everywhere else. It was as good as any Wawa hoagie I've had in Center City Philadelphia or even Wawa, Pennsylvania.
The only real draw back of the D.C. Wawa is the lack of Herr's chips. I need some of their crunchy sour cream and onion delights, but they can't seem to make it south of the Mason/Dixon line. Perhaps the Georgetown Wawa that's slated for development next year will have some?
Oh well. Either way. At least my half-and-half iced tea and soft pretzel were more than enough to tide me over as I sat in D.C. traffic on my way back to Free Beacon headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia (home of many prime, and available, locations for an upscale fast-casual deli/dairy/convenience store if any Wawa executives are reading this).