RICHMOND, Ky. (LEX 18) — Sometimes you just have to know in order to understand. I had no clue what I was about to walk into, but my photographer, a native Texan, tried to prepare me for many months.
The wait is over now that Kentucky's first Buc-ee's location has opened along I-75 in Richmond.
Buc-ee’s family travel center was nothing more than a rumor to so many Kentuckians, but today that changed. Kentucky’s first Buc-ee’s location opened in Madison County at mile marker 83 on Interstate 75, and the place looked like a mall on the final day of Christmas shopping.
— Michael Berk (@LEX18_Michael) April 19, 2022
“It’s awesome so far. A lot to take in in one sitting.”
Fortunately, Bob Martin and his wife live nearby, so they can come back to take in the rest.
Buc-ee’s started in 1982 in Texas. Co-founder, Arch “Beaver” Aplin, and his partner opened a single location in the Lone Star state. They’ve slowly expanded into four more states, with further expansion in the works. Mr. Alpin was here for the grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“Interstate 75 is a great interstate for us. Between Knoxville and Lexington, it’s just ideal,” Alpin said, before revealing plans for two more Kentucky Buc-ee’s locations in South Grove, along I-65, and in Oak Grove, which sits on I-24.
Buc-ee’s prides itself on having the cleanest restrooms of any rest stop anywhere. One employee said they clean things while they’re still clean so they can stay on top of things. They also feature fresh brisket sandwiches (they yell, “fresh brisket on the board” when a new side of beef is needed), and snacks like Beaver Nuggets and Sugar Nuts, for which they’ve become famous.
“We’re a family travel center. We want you to stop in with your family. We’re going to give you a really nice place, with delicious fresh food,” said the Buc-ee’s B-B-Q pit manager.
“That’s our goal, is to be a destination, that’s a busy interstate out there,” Alpin added.
Hundreds of people came through the doors within the first few minutes of Tuesday’s opening. Some, like Mr. Martin, had never before been to a Buc-ee’s. Others have.
“It’s a taste of Texas that’s come to Kentucky,” said one customer, who previously visited a Buc-ee’s.
EKU student Charlie Mitchell was also visiting for the first time.
“I’ve only been here for a few minutes, but I like it,” he said.
Now he understands what everyone has been talking about.