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Why Austin's the Reason 7-Eleven Stays Open Around the Clock

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News
The south campus 7-Eleven location. Austin had the first 24-hour location of the company.

If you're heading to 7-Eleven today for a free Slurpee, raise your glass to the city of Austin and her Texas Longhorns: After all, it was here in Austin the convenience store giant first went 24/7.

In its corporate history, the Dallas-based chain writes that in 1963 “one 7-Eleven store in Austin, Texas, located close to the University of Texas, stayed so busy after a football game, it couldn’t close. The store just remained open.” That night’s success kept the store open 24 hours from there on out - inspiring other locations to do the same.

Credit Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News
The vacant storefront to the left is the former site of Austin's first 24-hour 7-Eleven.

That store, according to 7-Eleven media relations, was at 607 W. 19th St. (now Martin Luther King Boulevard). It's long since closed. While it’s now a vacant building in the shadow of a dry cleaners, another 7-Eleven just a few blocks east (pictured above) serves as its spiritual successor.

As for the night in question: 1963 was a big year for UT football, the season the Horns earned their first national championship. All 7-Eleven can say is that it knows it was on a Saturday – which could be one of four home games that year. 

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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