5 reasons to love the gas-less QT in Midtown

Like good ice, broad selection is what QT does.

Combined ShapeCaption
Like good ice, broad selection is what QT does.

Since its opening in June, the gas-less QuickTrip (in recent weeks there were several) at the corner of Sixth and Peachtree has been bustling.

The the idea itself isn't new. 7-Eleven made the slurpee famous (along with The Simpson's knock-off, the slushee) a generation ago, and they did so largely on the ubiquity of their petroleum-free corner markets.

Explorevia GIPHY

It isn't even new to QuickTrip (QT), which opened a similar storefront inside Kansas City's Sprint Center in 2007. That store closed in 2013.

Still, the concept is novel and it works.

Here's why.
QT Kitchens

In recent years, QT has rolled out an in-store experience closer to fast food than gas station convenience under the banner of QT Kitchens. Full service counters are open daily from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. offering fresh to order classics like the soft pretzel, the personal pizza and kolache (breakfast sausage in sweet dough) along with various premium drinks. Though lots of convenience stores offer in-store "fresh" food, there is a sense that QT's is somehow less less a gas station, and, therefore, safer for human consumption.

The good ice

As you stand ready to press your plastic (or styrofoam) cup into one of the stainless steel ice dispensing arms, know that the ice that falls from the tube has been considered. It's amusing that most people know what "the good ice" is; those round pelleted ice cubes that break into one thousand microscopic pieces at the first chew. They're the little cubes that make a fountain drink shine. QT has them, along with traditional wafer-shaped ice cubes, because your wishes have been considered.

Broad selections
Like good ice, broad selection is what QT does. They respect your need for choice. Sure, they could have just one kind of ice, or one style of roller hot dog or just one brand of dog food. But no, QT has more respect for your individual tastes than that. They understand that ice cube style, cup material, latte flavor, lid quality and the value of Dr. Pepper over Mr. Pibb in a fountain setting. Those are the kinds of things you've thought about.

Clean bathrooms

There is no better litmus test for Midtown drop-in spot than the restroom. No other scenario can make a decent man quit his job faster than a bathroom incident.

Traditionally, gas station restrooms are the lowest kind of low on the scale of restroom excellence. Not at QT.

They are what every convenience store should aspire to achieve. The staff won't judge you if you use the restroom but don't buy a drink or some gum in exchange. They get you, and it's all good.

The cultural intersection effect

For all the above, QT attracts a wide variety of folks. Look around — the drink fountain at the Midtown QT is a cultural intersection in Atlanta.

Landscapers guzzle Gatorade over traditional-wafer ice, standing shoulder to shoulder at the lid station with the executives stopping for coffee, the red-shirted management trainees restocking shelves, and even the flat-brimmed youth and their 80-ounce Rooster Booster. At QT, there is a certain harmony.

The reality is, Midtown convenience stores are few and far between on Peachtree (save for the CVS across the street). Because QuickTrip puts more emphasis on quality than many convenience stores, they have earned the right to sell us food and wares even without the context of a gasoline pit stop.

The same sense of quality extends beyond the fresh food, and out into everything QT. The place is always clean and well lit. The staff are always a little wiser, a little more prepared, a bit better than those at neighboring competitors. QT does quality.

Which is why it's ok that they don't sell gas in Midtown. They are more than a gas station. They are bigger than fuel. Plus, they've got that good ice.