MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Cowabunga!
Fans of “The Simpsons” now can slurp a Squishee, munch a Heat Lamp Hot Dog, and gulp Lard Lad Donuts — Mmm, donuts! — at the world’s first permanent real-life Kwik-E-Mart store.
It’s designed like a favorite location from the long-running animated TV series, and it opened Friday in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Other items for sale include memorabilia associated with Bart Simpson, his parents, Homer and Marge, sisters Lisa and Maggie and the rest of the globally known characters from the town of Springfield.
Those include Apu, owner of the show’s convenience store, Kwik-E-Mart, who is of Indian descent. The show received criticism recently from viewers troubled by the stereotypical characterization, like Apu’s accent provided by actor Hank Azaria.
“The Simpsons” is known for its many catchphrases, including one from Apu that is painted on a wall inside the store:
“Thank you, come again!” it says.
Mark Cornell, of SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment, one of the developers, said the first visitors included three generations of a family, all arguing playfully about who was the bigger “Simpsons” fan.
“To see three generations walk through the door that all love ‘The Simpsons,’ how can you say that about anything else?” he told WBTW.
The store is next door to a “Simpsons”-themed Aztec Theater expected to open later this year.