This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. This blog is not supported by advertising, it's supported by the generosity of my patrons on Patreon. Thank you!

Circle K, Phoenix, Arizona


If you live in the Phoenix area, or visited there, you've probably been to a Circle K convenience store. Or went past one on your way to a QuickTrip. Personally, I like both places, but I really like the cinnamon coffee at Circle K.

I grew up in Minnesota, so I didn't see a Circle K until I moved to Phoenix when I was 19. And I'm not entirely sure how I learned to call it "Circle K", because, really, the sign just looks like K to me. But somehow the fact that the name is supposed to be like a cattle brand (you know, like at a ranch) just seemed to make it so much more Western than, for example, the Tom Thumbs of Minneapolis.

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To me, Circle K is very Phoenix. My memory of being in California in the mid-80s is hazy, so they may or may not have had them around where I lived. Seems to me I recall mostly 7-11s in LA. Circle K seems to make me think of Phoenix, and it's a good feeling.

Walking past a Circle K at McClintock and Palmcroft in 1972, Tempe, Arizona

Looking north up 19th Avenue between Cactus and Peoria in the 1960s, Phoenix, Arizona

Driving past a Circle K in Phoenix in the 1960s, Phoenix, Arizona


Image at the top of this post: looking south on 16th Street towards South Mountain at Roosevelt in the 1970s, Phoenix, Arizona. Images from the Duke University Library Digital Collections