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.
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.
Brian Fulton has been the librarian at The Times-Tribune for the past 14 years. On his blog, Historically Hip, he writes about the great concerts, plays/musicals and celebrity happenings that have taken place throughout NEPA. He is also the co-host of the local history podcast, Historically Hip. He competed and was crowned grand champion on an episode of NPR quiz show “Ask Me Another.” Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9140; or @TTPagesPast