Fans of The Simpsons can now get a Squishee or a Lard Lad Donut in real life. The first ever Kwik-E-Mart just opened in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, offering a variety of treats based on the long-running animated show. It took nearly 30 years to make it happen, but the store is officially open at Broadway at the Beach, a hot spot for tourists.
“Broadway at the Beach is like no other location. It really draws a lot of foot traffic walking around and I really think that it’s the perfect first place. I think the Simpsons would come to Myrtle Beach for a vacation,” said senior vice president of attractions development for SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment, Mark Cornwell.
The Quick-E-Mark also features Simpsons memorabilia and Duff branded energy drinks. The outside looks identical from the store in the show, although the interior is pretty much what you might expect from a convenience store or gift shop.
Apu, voiced by Hank Azaria, is the loyal owner and operator of the Kwik-E-Mart. However, since the documentary The Problem With Apu was posted on YouTube, the character has been targeted as controversial. Critics say he is a stereotypical representation of Indians in America. Despite concerns and the character’s noticeably lower profile in recent episodes, Apu image and presence was kept in the store for authenticity.
Cornwell mentioned the best part of opening the store is seeing generations of fans who are enjoying the unique attraction. “A 64-year-old grandmother, her son and daughter-in-law, and their three children, they were all sort of arguing about who were stronger fans,” he says. “But to see three generations walk through the door that all love The Simpsons, how can you say that about anything else?”
The Simpsons 30th season is ready to debut on Fox next month and while there are no current plans to open any other Kwik-E-Mart stores in other parts of the country, fans of the animated series will have a good reason to visit Myrtle Beach.