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Iconic C-store closes doors

As Lamar was bracing for Hurricane Michael, Darrell and Darlene Hickman shut the doors on the B&L Convenice Store they had operated at the corner of College Drive and Taylor Street in Barnesville for 30 years. ‘We shut it down last Tuesday at about 9 p.m. The fuel tanks were getting low. We’re going to miss it. You wouldn’t believe how many people came by there just to stop and socialize,’ Darrell said last week. The Wash House, the laundromat adjacent to the store, remains open but will soon move to the former Some Beach Tans location at the corner of Veterans Parkway and Redbud Drive. ‘We are working with Atlanta Gas Light on getting the gas service we need to run the dryers. We want to get the folks who need it a good, clean laundromat. They need a place to wash their clothes. We want them to have a good place. It will be clean and comfortable,’ Darrell added. The B&L property is owned by an LLC managed by the children of Will Hill Newton who has owned the B&L property for a long time. The same group also owns the land on which Hardee’s, Giant Mart and United Bank are situated. The Hickmans’ lease on the property expires on Nov. 30. They will dig up and remove the fuel tanks on the site early next month. ’The building is going to be bulldozed for a new business. We were told it would be fast food but we don’t know what sort of franchise it will be,’ Darrell said. Speculation is Burger King will locate on the land. The chain has been looking for a local site for some time. The Huddle House location in Barnesville closed over the weekend and that is another possible site for Burger King. City manager David Rose reported no one has yet applied for a demolition permit for the site. Kwickie Stores built the B&L building back in the early 1970s and it was originally operated by Jimmy and Letha Henry who now own Pastime Grill. Billy and Louise Rose bought it at some point – thus the name B&L. ’It is kind of the end of an era. That store was a blessing to us,’ Darrell concluded.

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