By Reagin von Lehe for The Island Eye News
When will motorists again be able to buy gas on Sullivan’s Island? Once a Circle K, the renovated Refuel gas station and convenience store located in the town’s business district probably will be back in business sometime around mid August, depending on how long renovations on the property at Ben Sawyer Boulevard and Middle Street take to complete.
Refuel President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Jordan explained that the date of the re-opening of the store will be determined entirely by the renovations taking place.
“I would say it’s an opening (rather than a re-opening) because it’s such a big renovation,” Jordan said. “It won’t look anything like what was there before. We took the building down to the studs, so to speak.”
He pointed out that in the middle of the renovation, Refuel decided to expand the gas station to the maximum 900 square feet permitted by Federal Emergency Management Agency flood-related guidelines.
The company has changed everything from the plumbing system to the amount of freezer and cooler space and has also taken extra precautions with hurricane season approaching by adding a stronger roofing system.
“It’s an iconic property, and we wanted to rebuild it so that it looked like the Sullivan’s Island vernacular,” Jordan explained.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, what once were normal tasks such as quick stops at gas stations have become worrisome. Jordan said Refuel is aware of the situation and has been taking precautionary measures to protect not only its staff but also the many customers who frequent the company’s 86 stores. Refuel was one of the first gas stations to use glass screens to help stop the spread of the virus and has provided hand sanitizer free of charge to customers and employees.
The South’s 87th Refuel convenience store, on Sullivan’s Island, will have two pumps for cars, trucks and boats as well as a wide assortment of snacks, wines, beers and even boiled peanuts prepared on-site.