Fans of Philly sports, beer, and Wawa rejoice (as if you needed a reason to): Wawa on Thursday is opening its first store within city limits that will sell beer, less than two miles away from the South Philly sports complex.
And it won’t just sell beer, it will feature a “Beer Cave,” which sounds like some magical place where Gritty and the Phanatic will retire to someday, but is actually just a walk-in beer cooler. The store will be the sixth Wawa in Pennsylvania to sell beer, along with locations in Chadds Ford, Middletown, Emmaus, Blakeslee, and Horsham. (A Wawa at 38th and Spruce Streets in University City once sold beer, but discontinued alcohol sales in the 1990s.)
The new location, which Wawa is dubbing its “Stadium Store,” is at 2600 Penrose Avenue, on the site of a former auto-scrapping facility at the base of the George C. Platt Bridge in South Philly.
As part of the opening ceremonies at the new store at 8 a.m. Thursday, Wawa will throw its support behind Philadelphia’s bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2026. On hand will be Wawa President and CEO Chris Gheysens; David L. Cohen, chair of Philadelphia Soccer 2026, the nonprofit established to lead the city’s World Cup bid; and Philadelphia Union Captain Alejandro Bedoya, an honorary co-chair of the bid, who will host a coffee toast.
Wawa will also unveil a new “Join the team” digital billboard and a Wawa coffee cup in support of Philadelphia’s bid for the 2026 World Cup. Customers who sign up to support the bid at the grand opening will receive a free “For the love of the game” Philadelphia Soccer 2026 T-shirt, and the first customers at the store will receive a Wawa Philadelphia T-shirt as well.
If there was any doubt how much people love a free Wawa shirt, it was erased at a store opening in Upper Darby last week when more than 200 people lined up before 8 a.m. for 100 free Wawa Delco shirts (and those who didn’t snag one tried to buy them off of people who did).
Wawa and Philadelphia Soccer 2026 will also preview a new interactive soccer exhibit at the opening, which will premiere at Independence Visitors Center during the Wawa Welcome America Festival. Wawa will also announce the release of the first free tickets to the festival’s July 4th concert, featuring Bebe Rexha and Flo Rida.
The opening takes place on the same day as the Wawa vs. Sheetz debate, hosted by City & State PA, between noted Wawa lover U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle and noted Sheetz fanatic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman.
Wawa spokesperson Lori Bruce said Wawa and Sheetz have a “tremendous admiration” for each other and Wawa will not be taking sides in the debate.
“Over the years, Sheetz and Wawa have worked together on initiatives and charitable endeavors to benefit our communities,” she said. ”Because of this mutual respect, we have decided not to take an active role in this event — but certainly understand that our customers and fans have a great deal of passion for both companies.”
Understood, but we don’t see people lining up by the hundreds for Sheetz openings, now do we?