UPDATE: The CITGO will reopen at 5 a.m. Friday, March 16, per sources.
Visitors to the Hellertown CITGO gas station/convenience store at 1020 Main Street Wednesday were met with caution tape that surrounded and blocked the gas pumps and the entrance to the store.
The business–a locally-owned and independently operated franchise–was reportedly sold to a new owner late last year, and the store closed without warning Wednesday. Long-time staff were also reportedly let go.
As of 6 p.m. lights were on inside the store and a car was parked outside but the entrance was inaccessible.
Saucon Source has contacted CITGO’s Media Reliations department to request more information about the business, whether it will remain a CITGO franchise and when it will reopen.
Many customers expressed shock, confusion and disappointment in response to news about the closure shared on Facebook.
“There goes the best priced gas in town,” commented Kimberly Verno-Fleming, referring to the station’s often competitive price on unleaded fuel.
Several readers reported that in recent months the store had lost–and then gained back–its state licenses to sell both lottery tickets and cigarettes.
The store has also long been a popular place to purchase coffee, milk, cold drinks, snacks, grocery staples, newspapers, ice and sundry items.
The store was open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Hellertown has several other gas stations, including Sunoco, 701 Main Street; Klein’s Service Station, a full-service Sunoco station at 1169 Main Street; and Top Star Exxon at 1570 Main Street.
The nearest CITGO outside Hellertown is at 824 W. Broad St., Bethlehem.