Wawa is permanently closing its store at Broad and Walnut Streets, officials announced.

“This decision was a difficult one,” a news release said. “But due to the impact from the pandemic coupled with some operational uncertainties of today, our long-term plans for this store are no longer viable.”

This was first reported on PhillyChitChat. The coronavirus pandemic has forced many Center City office employees to continue working remotely, dramatically decreasing foot traffic and lunch crowds. Wawa citied “the unique circumstances that continue to impact our customers’ daily lives and our own store operations” in announcing that the location would not reopen.

A pedestrian looks inside the closed Wawa on Broad and Walnut Streets in Center City on Monday, August 3, 2020. The Flagship Wawa closed due to the pandemic.
YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
A pedestrian looks inside the closed Wawa on Broad and Walnut Streets in Center City on Monday, August 3, 2020. The Flagship Wawa closed due to the pandemic.

The Wawa at Broad and Walnut opened in September 2015 as the chain’s new city flagship — and there was a celebration. A Philadelphia Orchestra brass trio played the theme from Rocky, The Inquirer reported at the time, and then-Mayor Michael Nutter stopped by, promising that Pope Francis would get a hoagie during his visit to Philadelphia.

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Wawa has two nearby stores, at 12th and Market Streets and at 13th and Chestnut Streets. The company said it is expanding its delivery, curbside ordering, and pick-up options. It is also testing a drive-through option.

Lisa Rathbun (left) and her mother, Marianne, of Dover, Del., pose with a Pope Francis cutout during the opening of the new Wawa at Broad and Walnut.
Lisa Rathbun (left) and her mother, Marianne, of Dover, Del., pose with a Pope Francis cutout during the opening of the new Wawa at Broad and Walnut.