ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A new convenience store will soon be available in Downtown Abilene on Cypress Street, and some residents say they have been fighting for a store like this for years.
Kim Bosher lives and works downtown and said the soon-to-be “Bodegish” checks her boxes.
Even though all of her belongings are within walking distance, she said, “There are times where I need safety pins or some crazy, off the wall things, and so I have to go to the Dollar General and stop what I’m doing. So, it will be so nice just to be able to run down a block.”
According to Bosher, there is a major need for a convenience store downtown, and soon, Bodegish Convenience Store will meet that need.
“It’s not quite a bodega. It’s Bodegish,” owner Josh Rader chuckled.
Rader began developing this idea when he was a bartender in Downtown Abilene years ago, wishing there was a convenience store closer.
The store is described as a “human vending machine.” Customers will be able to walk up to the window to purchase their items.
“Convenient things on top of some day-to-day stuff,” Rader listed of what Bodegish will offer. “We’ll have, of course, snacks and drinks. Then also, we’re going to have the things you don’t think about downtown. So, if a button pops off, we’ll have a sewing kit.”
Rader told KTAB/KRBC he feels good knowing he is able to help meet a need downtown.
“I’m an Abilenean. I love Abilene, so seeing Abilene grow and being a part of that is just great – helping downtown, which I’ve always had a passion for,” shared Rader. “This is the place we went whenever we were a kid on field trips, and it was so cool.”
This Bodegish is also something 20-year downtown resident, Kayla Belle Christianson said she has been fighting for.
“The convenient store coming downtown is a game changer,” Christianson said. “For about almost 20 years now that we have lived in the Hotel Wooten, we have not had a grocery store even of this size within about two miles.”
With the recent growth downtown, President of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, Doug Peters told KTAB/KRBC, “The addition of Bodegish in downtown will fill a void that currently exists and provide a needed outlet for residents and visitors alike. With the tremendous level of investment both planned and underway in the downtown area, and the increased traffic expected by the soon-to-open Convention Headquarters Hotel and Conference Center, serving downtown’s critical mass will become even more important.”
It’s residents like Christianson and Cameron Wiley who are most excited for the city’s development.
“With all of the attention being shown to downtown over the last few years, I think a lot of folks that are taking a chance and investing into it are becoming more imaginative and innovative on what is brought to our downtown,” Wiley explored.
Bodegish will be located at 202 Cypress Street and is predicted to open by the end of April.