TONICA — The new Casey’s in Tonica is scheduled to open Thursday, Nov. 21, and the new location, with 12 fuel islands for cars and three fueling stations for semi trucks, is the chain’s largest in Illinois, said Shari Piccatto, area supervisor.
The old Casey’s General Store, located at 306 S. First St., is scheduled to close at 11 p.m. Wednesday night so employees can officially make the move to the new store.
“It’s exciting. I just can’t wait to get into a bigger kitchen,” said employee Jennifer Breit prior to the move.
The shelves became emptier and emptier at the original location, and signs noted to customers that beer sales ceased on Nov. 3.
On Nov. 14, employees for a local distributor were carting beer into the new store, where employees were setting up shelves.
The new location moves the store out of a floodplain and closer to Interstate 39 on the northwest corner of Route 251 and Ray Richardson Road — the former site of the Village Inn.
The new store is 1,000 square feet larger than the new Peru store and will be open 24 hours, said Piccatto.
“This is the first of its kind in Illinois,” said Piccatto. While the new Casey’s in Utica has an area for diesel fueling, the new one at Tonica also has five overnight parking spots for semis.
Piccatto said the corporation had been interested in the Tonica site for quite some time.
“The Tonica location was a very busy store in town,” Piccatto said, adding that the larger store will help the village and should bring in a lot of motorists from the interstate.
Note to readers: Brett Herrmann and Craig Sterrett of Shaw Media contributed to this report.