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76 fuel pumps, 41 bathroom stalls and a beef jerky bar: Welcome to Wally’s | Local News

Food options include bars for coffee, popcorn and beef jerky, as well as a carving station. None is part of a national franchise — all the food outlets are Wally’s-specific.

An 8,000-square-foot retail space offers proprietary shirts, hats, mugs, outdoors supplies and the usual items one might find at a truck stop.

But Wally’s isn’t a truck stop. That doesn’t mean truckers aren’t welcome, but Wally’s isn’t set up to accommodate tractor-trailers.

The differentiation from truck stops is by design, according to Rubenstein.

“They have showers on site and a separate truck entrance,” he said. “The maneuverability around a truck stop can be a little daunting for the family in the minivan, going down the road. That’s who we’re targeting.”

Originally from southwest of St. Louis, Rubenstein and Wally’s Chairman Chad Wallis have driven I-55 numerous times between their home area and Chicago. They noticed a family-oriented travel center didn’t

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76 fuel pumps, 41 bathroom stalls and a beef jerky bar: Welcome to Wally’s – News – Journal Star

PONTIAC — The drive between Peoria and Chicago can be long, dull and devoid of convenient, clean places to use the restroom.

A new travel center in Pontiac purports to provide a solution to that last potential problem. Among other things.

Wally’s opened its first location earlier this month, at Interstate 55 and Illinois Route 116. It bills itself as “Home of the Great American Road Trip,” and a family-friendly one at that.

That friendliness extends to cleanliness, in the form of more than 40 bathroom outlets Wally’s President/CEO Michael Rubenstein assures will be hygienic.

“What’s the No. 1 thing that usually decides where to go on a road trip? Who has the cleanest bathrooms,” Rubenstein said.

Wally’s women’s restroom has 20 stalls, with floor-to-ceiling walls and doors. The men’s room has 10 similar stalls and 11 urinals.

“Just the size and openness of the bathrooms is really situated to

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