You wouldn't know by standing inside but PERCH was a convenience store for several years before our big renovation. But standing outside, the location's past is very, VERY obvious. However things outside are changing. (goodbye random people stopping for gas!)
I will say that it's been an adventure the last few months. For several weeks during the interior renovation and after, people would stop either at a pump or just outside the door. I've had women sit in their car and wait for me to go out and attend to them. Truck drivers stop for soda or "whatever you have here". And of course people are stopping to simply use the restroom.
As a writer it's bittersweet. I could write a book about the people who stop here. Although most would come from my imagination and the 60-second conversations I had with them; it would no-doubt be hilarious. Or terrifying.
Perhaps the most interesting scenario is one that continues today. An older man stops here on Thursdays (I think) in his small pickup, complete with shell and small dog. Some days he paces the parking area with that dog. Other times he parks just outside the building. But he's always waiting for the same person. Usually running late, a mini van or large SUV pulls in and a woman hops out, hands over her kids and drives off, dust in the air. On Sunday afternoons it's the same scenario, although they often stand and visit for awhile. It's no doubt a daughter and father who helps with her children so that she has some "adult" time on the weekends. I have moments of wanting to tell them they can't park here but at the same time, the consistency of their visit is strangely comforting.
So now my question becomes: once the gas tanks are gone and this property is more obviously in use, will the random visitors stop coming? Will this family find a new meeting place? Or are there some things/some locations in a small town that just attract the occasional visitor?
I guess I'll know the answer(s) soon enough.