Oh, thank heaven? Hardly: 7-Eleven, you make Denver look tacky

7Eleveneyesore.jpg
Vacate a perfectly good store, just to build the same thing across the street? Way to go, 7-Eleven. You get the neighborhood jerk award.
My earliest childhood memories of 7-Eleven are all positive. Growing up in the pseudo-suburban area of southeast Denver known as Virginia Village, I spent many summer days scrounging for enough change to buy a Slurpee and three or four pieces of Bazooka bubble gum at the nearby 7-Eleven. Because way back in the late '80s, you could do that -- buy a full, cavity-laden meal for under a buck, each one a mini-celebration of school being out forever.

But now that I'm an adult, I see my closest 7-Eleven and I want to throw a brick through the window with a note attached that reads: "Hey, you forgot to knock down that eyesore of an old 7-Eleven across the street before you built this new, fancy one." But I wouldn't be getting the point across to the right people. Because the regular folks working at 7-Eleven are not the ones who made the crappy decision to blight a neighborhood in an unabashedly Walmart kind of way by not cleaning up their own architectural mess.

See also: Virginia Village: I'll be out reppin' my transitional neighborhood like a mascot

I'm sure there's some paper-pushing logic for why 7-Eleven thinks this is a proper way to run a business -- after all, it's a giant corporate company that seems to have the ability to close and open stores on a whim. But I'm not interested in business bullshit. I'm talking about the pure aesthetic dismay and socio-economic weight that 7-Eleven puts on a community when its shuts down one store and builds a brand-spanking-new one across the street.

The most obvious of these neighborhood blight blunders is the 7-Eleven switch at Colfax and Josephine. (Take a look at the Google street view to see exactly what I'm talking about.) At one time in the recent past, a perfectly good 7-Eleven sat on the southwest corner. Then a new version of the store was built across the street -- and the discarded store still sits vacant.

Knowing Denver, that spot could someday turn into the next bourgie-indie-fast-casual restaurant or CrossFit gym or wannabe Brooklyn retail store that sells one kind of T-shirt and an overpriced pair of tennis shoes. But in the meantime, the people who live near this dead 7-Eleven get to stare at a boarded-up blemish of a building. (Speaking of, I should call my gay husband Spencer and see if he can catch a glimpse of it from his bedroom window on Josephine. He usually texts me when the Arby's lights up his entire apartment like it's Kenny Roger's Roasters with its annual "chicken salad is back" campaign.)

I watched something similar happen to another store at Evans and Holly Street -- left for dead for at least a decade, this former 7-Eleven sat at the back of the corner lot, bombed out and busted. Eventually a gas station took over the property and knocked the ugly thing down -- but then, as if to rub it in everyone's face who had to live near that atrocity for years, 7-Eleven came back and built a new store across the street.

When the 7-Eleven by my house in Virginia Village closed, it was also vacant for a long time. The landlords of the strip mall took good care of it, however, and it never seemed to fall into disrepair. Eventually a coffee shop moved in to the space, and passersby probably can't even tell that it used to be a 7-Eleven.

But now, as if to warp the memories of those of us who lived there two decades ago, 7-Eleven, in its typical fashion, has decided to build a new version of itself across the street. I'm guessing that because the landlord took care of the O.G. 7-Eleven location's entire strip mall, it never went to hell. My neighborhood was lucky.

But to me, this is simply bad advertising. 7-Eleven, I know you're not at the forefront of American culture and you're not thinking about your part in how we humans feel about our surroundings, but, come on: Do you ever consider that the people who shop inside you are also the people who have to look at you all the time?

7-Eleven, you're ugly. And it's by choice.




My Voice Nation Help
66 comments
Sharon Vicory
Sharon Vicory

Haven't been to the new one. Don't know why it's as huge as it is. As for the old one across the street, kind of gross. Went there twice. Not a place to take the kids, too scary.

Ozzie Perch
Ozzie Perch

how do you get 'tacky' from the convenience of paying way too much for munchies?! I think the many iron-barred-fortress liquor stores fit that role better...

Justan Michael Carlson
Justan Michael Carlson

711 isnt the issue. you're talking about locations full of ghetto ass individuals, and you expect a gas station to be fancy? this is poor writing, and shows even less of a skill for a story. westword, you disappoint with this almost as much as thinking your mag is worth 150 a week for ads.

Zack Lewis
Zack Lewis

Water, fruit, batteries, condoms, advil, zantac, tea, salted peanuts, movies, ice, gloves, hats, scratch tickets, turkey sandwiches, juice, sugarless gum, E cigarettes, Phone cards, gift cards, rolaids, Gatorade.... I probably could go on, but yeah.... its not a restaurant... but it is an awesome convenience store!!

Steve Paradise
Steve Paradise

Mine too when I lived in jersey when the company was just fine/the transition to pizzas and all the other shit they sell ..I like the old skool 7-11 plus there is more stores here than Ive ever seen in my life.

Kally Busby
Kally Busby

QT - WOOP, WOOP! Oh man the bummos would loooooove QT.

mike.golletz
mike.golletz

So does anyone here know what a Franchise is? No, 7-11 is a corporation that sells their name to private people to use there it as there Name to there store. Would you rather go into a gas station that say "We've got gas" or 7-11 what would you do, And to honest these store we are talking about here are owned by two different people, Welcome to America the land of Competition... Capitalism...

  

Scott R. Shriver
Scott R. Shriver

Used to live close to that place. What about that vacant car dealer lot that sat for 5 plus years at colfax and Colorado? Plus drive down 17th and thes like what 23 7-11s? It's sad

Chad Roth
Chad Roth

Denver needs QuikTrip. They would shut 7-11 down.

David Carter
David Carter

Does the 7-11 on 5th and Broadway still have a dumpster with "NO BABIES" stenciled?

Karen Derrick-Davis
Karen Derrick-Davis

I have to admit that the 7-11 at Bruce Randolph and York improved the corner. I never thought I'd be happy to see one, but I was.

chachi
chachi

Did you get paid to write this article? Shit, I should write for westword.

Jana Goff Tweedy
Jana Goff Tweedy

I live 3 blocks away from said 7-11 at Colfax and Josephine and my only question is why in the hell does it look like a two-story building when it is not? As for the abandoned one across the street, I can honestly say I have never given a fuck. Nope, not a single one.

Matthew Lowell Smith
Matthew Lowell Smith

People, seriously, are we griping about a gas station? This is ridiculous! There is much more to worry about in today's society....

Tristitia Infinita
Tristitia Infinita

I read it and, personally, I think there are bigger eyesores in Denver than empty 7-11 buildings. Also, why stop there with the rant? Why not attack all the businesses that open up in new buildings and do not use existing vacant property? Really, it's kind of asinine.

Bike Hawley
Bike Hawley

Name something that 7-Eleven sells that isn't bad for you. The list is very short.

Zack Lewis
Zack Lewis

Oh shit.. don't anyone tell Lindsay Lewis

James Bullard
James Bullard

i totally agree. they are franchise, and 90% of the time the type of person who buys, doesn't take care of it.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident

"Knowing Denver, that spot could someday turn into the next bourgie-indie-fast-casual restaurant or CrossFit gym or wannabe Brooklyn retail store that sells one kind of T-shirt and an overpriced pair of tennis shoes."

All it requires is your leftist entrepreneurial know-how. Pfft!

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident

"Because the regular folks working at 7-Eleven are not the ones who made the crappy decision to blight a neighborhood in an unabashedly Walmart kind of way by not cleaning up their own architectural mess."

If this isn't left-wing elitism, what is?

"But I'm not interested in business bullshit."

Obviously. Marxism is all about denying such a thing actually exists, in a fundamental sense.

cheesephan
cheesephan

Didn't Taco Bell start this trend years ago? 

Sheilah Davis
Sheilah Davis

I'm becoming incredibly uneasy as the way the word "blight" is being used. In Aurora, blight is a designation given to any property owned by a person wanting tax breaks. Cut it out! Colorado taxpayers cannot afford labeling so many things as "blight". Don't give this corporation any bright ideas that will hit us in the wallet.

JimTom
JimTom topcommenter

WestWord do you even know if 7-11 owns the property? Another thing that makes Denver trashy is free newspaper racks at every retail door in the city.

Rob Bot
Rob Bot

What's wrong with 7-11? People need gas and shitty food.. Oh Denver Westwood The journalistic blight.

Roger Charles Hall
Roger Charles Hall

I noticed our 7-ll is going away in Manitou Springs. First the gas tanks and then the store. Now it looks like Kum and Go is moving into the area.

BlondyVanWeirden
BlondyVanWeirden

I returned to Denver in 2008 and I don't think I've been in one 7-11 since I got back.  


Chris Esp Rob
Chris Esp Rob

rather elitist statement and extremely sub-par journalism

John Twigg
John Twigg

It's not just 7-11 that does this. Almost all fast food chains di ti as well.

rockymtmama2u
rockymtmama2u

What's worse is that a 7 Eleven opened last summer on the corner of Evans & Holly -less than a mile to the south of the soon to be 7 Eleven at the Virginia Village location. Because this neighborhood needs 2 identical convenience stores on the same street within walking distance of each other. Joyous.

Ellen Kessler
Ellen Kessler

What's even tackier is McDonald's on every effing street corner.

Mary Manning Schumacher
Mary Manning Schumacher

I was just in Boston and they had a quite a few very classy looking 7 Elevens. They don't have to be hideous.

Hayley Griffen
Hayley Griffen

It's in the Denver metro area, it's basically Denver. 7eleven makes Lakewood look tacky, too.

Todd Elsen
Todd Elsen

The 7-11 I went to as a child is now Teller's Taproom & Kitchen. Its weird to see a table where I use to play Double Dragon.

Gabe Munro
Gabe Munro

Too bad it's in Lakewood... Try again.

badboy73
badboy73

It would be nice if they would keep the homeless off their property. People asking me for change every time I go in and out is annoying.  Don't we have loitering laws in Denver?  

Tanya Friesen
Tanya Friesen

Companies do this all the time! What's your point? I envy those that can get a Slurpee...I gotta travel 500 miles if I want one!

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident

@cheesephan You make an interesting point. There were a lot of old-style Taco Bells that sat for years or got converted into some other retail store when the new store opened up nearby. I view it as a special form of "creative destruction" in which the shell of a building is left behind for a business (think, pot dispensary) to use when it otherwise would have to build, making it easier to start a business.

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...