July 16, 1979

Southland Corp. of Dallas, Texas, announced that Slurpees would come to the Scranton area.

The operator of 7-Eleven, the national convenience store chain famous for its frozen soft drinks, planned to open one store at Blakely and Green Ridge streets in Dunmore and a second one at Elm Street and Cedar Avenue in Scranton.

Southland put plans for the convenience stores on hold in October 1980, however, when a company spokesperson said it was re-evaluating its expansion plans.

Years later, in 1984, the reason for the delay was revealed. After buying the property at Green Ridge and Blakely streets, Southland discovered that a different party actually owned the gas station bays, even though they appeared to be part of the overall structure. The company approached the bays’ owner to buy them, but Southland said it was “unwilling to pay the high cost sought by the private owner.”

In September 1985, though, the Slurpee had another shot at Northeast Pennsylvania. LEI Corp. of Clarks Summit announced that it had entered into a licensing agreement with Southland and that in several weeks, three AM-PM Mini-Markets in Scranton would transform into 7-Elevens. The stores were located at Wyoming Avenue and Mulberry Street, Moosic Street and Meadow Avenue, and at a former gas station at 300 Cedar Ave.

group of men

7-Eleven opens a store at Market Street and Brick Avenue in North Scranton on September 19, 1986. Participating in the ribbon cutting ceremony were, from left, Frank Agostini, store manager; Fire Prevention Officer Fred Schreiber, representing Chief Eugene Yevich; Scranton Counil President William Gerrity; Tom DeMatteo, vice president of marketing, and Glen McLaughlin, president of LEI Corporation. Times-Shamrock Archives

LEI Corp. went on to add two more 7-Elevens, at Market Street and Brick Avenue in North Scranton and another in Kingston, Luzerne County.

The flow of Slurpees came to an end locally in September 1988. C.F. Marts of PA. Inc., franchiser of several Convenient Food Marts in the region, bought the five 7-Elevens from LEI for an undisclosed price. A spokesperson from C.F. Marts declined to comment on the deal because employees were not notified of the sale. LEI released a press release that only said the deal “should be completed within the next three months.”

If you are looking for a Slurpee, there are 196 locations in Pennsylvania, according to 7-Eleven’s website. The closest is in the Allentown area.