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After a push by local residents, a 7-Eleven convenience-store chain opened a new location just across from the convention center on the corner of J and 14th streets. They'll serve Slurpees – but no beer, wine, or Lime-A-Ritas.
The Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau initially opposed the 7-Eleven, but changed its position when the store’s franchise owner, Imran Lohdil, opted to not offer alcohol at the new location.
“Our initial concerns were about the sale of alcohol from that location, especially late in the evening and with it being so close to the convention center,” said SCVB spokesman Mike Testa, “but we’re really pleased and very comfortable with the way that things have turned out.”
Author, local historian and Midtown Neighborhood Association Secretary William Burg spearheaded the effort to bring 7-Eleven to its new home, arguing that a convenience store that is open 24 hours would be good for neighbors, the state workers who frequent the area and those who are traveling to the capital city on business.
“I spoke in favor of it,” Burg said. “There has been a need for something like this. On the planning side, we (the MNA) were mindful of the safety and well-being of those in that location, because with it comes lights, activity and people. Those are all things we need in the downtown area.”
While the business has been navigable for the last three weeks, a celebratory grand opening was held on Friday.
“It’s been really busy this whole time since we’ve opened,” said 7-Eleven employee Gavyn Gofal. “I think the neighborhood really needed something like this. Everyone’s been saying how much they like having us here.”
From a late-night toothbrush run to the early-morning donut craving, the well-known chain fills what many have seen as a gap for downtown workers and residents.
“I think it’s a good thing,” said Land Park resident and downtown commuter Bob Perez. “After 5 o’clock, it’s nice to have something open for the people who work, who walk around, who stay in the hotels down here. It’s good to generate life in downtown.”
Correction: This article has been corrected to reflect the fact that the grand opening was held on Friday, not Saturday.