Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Torrington, Connecticut

This gas station has been through several ownerships in just the past few years. I began to wonder why, since it's in a good location on South Main Street, only a few blocks from the center of town, directly across from the old Armory, which is an active recreational center now. Then I thought about the cigarette poster—the latest owners tried to sell more than gas, but in that tiny space they couldn't have carried much merchandise. Of course there is no repair or mechanical work done here. About all you could sell would be gas, smokes, and Slim Jims. And service, of a limited sort. Their advertised gas price was always a nickel or dime higher than other places in the town, but it wasn't self-service; someone came out and pumped your gas, ran your credit card—rare except in New Jersey and Oregon where self-service is illegal. That could have been a ploy to attract the large number of senior citizens who walk indoors, around the basketball court, in the Armory across the street, every day.

Then I remembered that a Cumberland Farms outlet is less than a block away, across the street. It has five or six three-pump islands for gas, and the convenience store is at least a couple thousand square feet with the typical extensive CF range of products. Looks like the business model for a "gas station" simply doesn't work today.

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