Betrayal! Buc-ee’s wounds Texas pride with plan for huge store in Tennessee

Texas has been betrayed.

And worse, at the hands of one of our beloved brands.

Buc-ee’s, home of zillions of gas pumps, luxurious bathrooms and enough Texas kitsch to outfit an Amarillo apartment, is building a giant new store in … Tennessee. When it opens later this year, the Smoky Mountains outlet will be the chain’s largest, surpassing the behemoth in New Braunfels.

It’s one thing to share the joy of Beaver Nuggets with drivers in Alabama or even Georgia, who have enjoyed their stores for a while now. We’re all for expanding Buc-ee’s; we want a Texas original to succeed and remind residents of other states that they live in inferior places.

Buc-ee the Beaver.
Buc-ee the Beaver.

But this is a wound to Lone Star pride. Isn’t there some stretch of interstate here that needs a store with 120 gas pumps that occupies, as The Dallas Morning News’ Sarah Blaskovich noted, the footprint of five Trader Joe’s?


The store will be in Sevierville, already known as a tourist destination and the hometown of Dolly Parton. How much glory does one little mountain town need?

New Braunfels officials are appropriately devastated. They posted a mournful Tik Tok video, and you know the heartbreak is real because it features a Taylor Swift lyric.

Now, admittedly, Tennessee needs all the help it can get. That poor state limps by with beautiful mountain scenery, the Nashville party scene and the blues and barbecue of Memphis. A Buc-ee’s bathroom is probably bigger than the average Tennessee convenience store.

So, have at it, Tennessee.

But keep your dry ribs and don’t dare reach for our brisket.