Valentines Day at 7-Eleven in Edmonton, Alberta (Part 1)

An outside shot of the 7-Eleven at 14110 127 St NW in Edmonton, Alberta.
Try not to make eye contact.

Lovers rejoice. Your favourite chain for late-night nourishments, last-minute condoms, and after-sex smokes is finally providing a more involved option for your convenience store needs. The 7-Eleven at 14110 127 St NW in Edmonton, Alberta is now officially serving liquor. This means that from 11am – 11pm, you can now enjoy a bottle of wine instead of a Big Gulp with your gas station burrito.

That’s right, this particular Northside location has been renovated *just* enough that it can now be officially categorized as an eating establishment—making it the first 7-Eleven in Canada to have a Class-A liquor licence. What a difference a few tables and chairs can make! Suddenly that old patio furniture rusting away in your parents back yard isn’t looking so useless anymore, is it?

I’m not trying to be a square here or anything, but I’ve gotta say—on top of the booze, it’s starting to feel like 7-Eleven is trying a little too hard to be badass these days. Have you seen what they’re selling on the 7Rewards App lately?

A cell phone displaying the 7Rewards app on the redeemable points screen., where a glock handgun and 7-Eleven cannabis are both items for sale.

Hmm. Well, if nothing else — I guess the startup screen is pretty on brand.

7-Eleven app screen featuring images of pizza, hot dogs, homeless people and hookers.
It also froze the fuck out of my phone on a regular basis.

The store’s new liquor license allows alcohol to be served with minors present; but don’t worry about the kids—the only chance they’ll have at getting into this particular liquor cabinet is with some advanced lock-picking skills. Either that or a cool, rebellious older sibling. (Or maybe even both.)

The alcohol refrigerator in the store. There is a woman sticking a pin into the lock.
“Remember, kid: It’s easier to apologize than to ask permission.”

I’m not sure who’s ambitious idea it was for this store to bring booze into the equation, but I do know that if there’s anything your average 7-Eleven definitely needs—it’s more opportunities for alcoholics to harass the general public.

The younger, drunker version of me would be absolutely elated by this news. He’d also likely be permanently banned already—for blacking out, lighting cigarettes inside, and singing off-key karaoke to the store’s top 40 playlist. (Hey, if it can happen in a Dairy Queen, it can happen in a 7-Eleven).

A photo of the author, circa 2006 or 2007, holding a beer and looking very intoxicated.
This guy would approve.

As you may have guessed, I’ve definitely been worse for wear at a 7-Eleven before. However, usually the drunk part began before I arrived—not the other way around. And while my wild years of wasted assholery are over—I weep for any 7-Eleven employee who will have to tolerate the loud, wet-brained lunatics who will undoubtedly make this location their new, revered watering hole.

A shot of the dining area at 7-Eleven, with two large, drunk, naked cartoon men holding beer bottles.
License to Swill

Yeah, I know other parts of the world sell liquor at convenience stores. It’s not that unusual; other gas stations do it; birds do it; bees do it; IKEA does it. I get the point.

But this is 2022, for shit’s sake. Most 7-Elevens these days are practically supervised consumption sites already. And I’m talking about the kind where the “supervisors” aren’t actually trained or qualified to do so. (Even if they kind of signed up for it. I mean, this is a gas station on the North Side of Edmonton, not the Disney Store).

Here’s hoping Sev’s employees are investing in some sort of self-defense certificate on top of that Pro-Serve they’re required to have.

And maybe some bear spray while they’re at it.

News headline that says "Black Bear checks out a 7-Eleven, uses the hand sanitizer" with a photo of the bear.
Well, at least he’s a health conscious bear, I’ll give him that.

I don’t know a lot about business. Or the economy. Or anything useful, really. But I can’t help but wonder if this liquor license loophole is a pretty big piss-off to the smaller, independent shops nearby. Does Sev really need to steal sales from the little guys?

I will say though, if their goal is to efficiently funnel money directly from the community while exploiting its vices, they should cover all their bases. Maybe a 7-Eleven Brand Slot Machine is on the horizon?

A 7-Eleven slot machine that says "It's a store and more."
One Big Gulp™ after viewing your account balance.

The day I visited this particular store happened to be Vagisil Valentine’s Day. I’m a pretty romantic guy, so naturally, this puke-inducing day of pink and red hearts is pretty damn important to me.

Yeah, obviously that’s a lie. The only thing I’ll partake in that even remotely resembles romance is letting my “date” pick what Netflix show to watch before talking loudly through its entire duration. I might light a scented candle beforehand.

This year, I happened to be lucky enough to find someone who could tolerate me for at least an hour, so I decided to make our special day of simulated romance a memorable one. What better place than 7-Eleven?

Don’t answer that.

A sign at the entrance to the dining hall that says "Please Enter Here"
I forgot to make reservations, but we lucked out.

Immediately I am depressed impressed. We are greeted with not one but two warm welcomes: One from the Maître’D / Head Chef / Cashier working the register, who smiles at both of us as we enter the store; and the other from a charming young man outside asking us for spare change. That’s one thing I love about 7-Eleven—I never feel ignored in any part of the store, including the parking lot.

Upon hearing that pleasant, familiar door chime that very few fine dining establishments offer, my date and I take some time to appreciate the Valentines Day decorations. If I wasn’t in the mood for love already—well, I’m definitely still not.

I do like balloons, though.

A shot of the dining area with a cartoon skunk trying to kiss a reluctant black cat. An unconscious man is behind them at a table.
A relationship of convenience.

I’m not too enamoured with this hanging Homesense bargain-bin banner thing. I always wonder who comes up with these designs. A robot? It has to be a robot. Even the people who write Hallmark cards would scoff.

A valentines decoration that says "Hug, Kiss, Love" with a cartoon robot next to named "Generic Romantic Verb Robot."
“I’m just a love machine.”

Thankfully, the wait is minimal, so our eyes (already sore from all that fluorescent light) don’t have to endure the sappy signage for too long.

There is only one other table being served today, and the pair appear to be fully immersed in mutually smitten banter. The gentleman and I exchange a knowing nod. I guess I’m not the only one who thinks 7-Eleven is a great date destination. Right on, brother. Get after it.

We are seated and examine the menu. The items reflect both the values of 7-Eleven’s street corner customers as well as average plebs like myself. Everything from sandwiches with no expiry-date to pizza that stray dogs would hesitate to eat. However, nothing here is inedible, and I would argue that these food selections would satiate and settle the stomachs of even the most starved and surly clientele.

Dining Table with a mini tablecloth and flowers in a vase. A plastic wine cup, Slurpee, taquito, and chips.
A meal to make your heart throb (if you eat here often enough).

After quite some difficulty with the portable ATM device, we make our purchases and settle in.

Yeah, my debit card is “declined” 3 times—but I keep trying because like, I know I’m not that broke-ass. When the transaction finally goes through, I’m waving the machine around obnoxiously while loudly declaring my victory to every present bystander in order to prove they were wrong about my financial stability this whole time! (They’re probably right about my mental stability though.)

Another shot of the table, Taquito close up.
I better get a second date out of this.
Can of Bollicini Sparkling Rose Wine.
The finer can of our visit. Trust me.

My date decides on a bag of Tastie brand prawn chips paired with a can of Bollicini Sparkling Italian rosé wine, both of which are reportedly satisfactory. I opt for a 7-Eleven Go-Go Taquito™ and a simple Slurpee™, mainly because I’m a basic bitch; but also because no one wants to see the aforementioned younger, pantless, inebriated version of me. These two menu items deliver everything one would desire and expect from such a combination (including the belch).

The highlight of our romantic evening afternoon comes when the Manager approaches our table and presents us with a box of chicken wings—on the house! He must have felt guilty about the debit machine not working. Clearly my guilt-tripping game is next level.

That is seriously cool. Thank you, 7-Eleven manager!

I couldn’t find any of the words on the word search. I did find some other ones, though…

Box of Chicken Wings with word search on the lid. Words are" salmonella," "listeria," "heartburn."
Ain’t no thang like a (free) chacken wang.

I should note: as appreciative as I am for the complimentary snack, these lukewarm wings taste and feel like they’ve definitely been sitting out for a while. But since I’m essentially incapable of turning down free food, I enthusiastically chow down each chewy chunk of sad chicken like a phony, famished fuck. Pathetic.

I’m guessing they were about to end up in the bin? I’d better get to the restroom before my stomach reaches the same conclusion.

"To Be Continued" sign. 7-Eleven logo with two toiler paper rolls and brown ooze dripping.

What? You were expecting a restroom review? I don’t owe you shit. (Okay, yeah…I guess I kind of do. Especially with an image like that. Well, you’ll just have to come back to this stupid site next week to see that part, won’t you?

I guess I do need to end Part One somehow

Okay, I give 7-Eleven 4 Taquitos out of 5. Mainly because the manager gave me free food. But I did genuinely enjoy my experience in the dining area. There are some ridiculously nice folks working here. I’m kind of happy the TV was turned off, too. Good call.

Now, if the rest of you aren’t too turned-off, then I hope to see you back here for more 7-Eleven shit next week. Or not, whatever. Bye.

Part 2, right here.

4 thoughts on “Valentines Day at 7-Eleven in Edmonton, Alberta (Part 1)

    1. You should check it out anyway! Bring some candles and some wine cups like we did, and maybe you’ll even get some free grub, too! Ha. As for the bravery part—I heard that courage is the power to let go of the familiar. But in this case, I would have been perfectly fine sticking with the familiar. Thank you for reading!


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