Fuel City vice president of corporate development Joseph Bickham, left, and owner John Benda, right, know they've got a weirdo business on their hands. It works. 

Fuel City vice president of corporate development Joseph Bickham, left, and owner John Benda, right, know they've got a weirdo business on their hands. It works. 

Ben Torres/Special Contributor

Dallas folks already know Fuel City. It's a gas station, sure, but it's also a taco shop, an offbeat karaoke spot, a car wash and a general place of curiosity. (The swimming pool and longhorns out back are part of the puzzle.) CNBC's Jane Wells recently interviewed owner John Benda about what they're calling "our strangest success story yet" on an entrepreneurial series called Make It.

Exclusive: Jumbo convenience store Fuel City in Mesquite is open. And yes, there's tacos.

Owner Benda shares a tidbit with CNBC we hadn't heard before: "I was doing jury duty down the street, and during lunch break, I found this spot," he says, referring to the 8 acres in the armpit of Interstates 30 and 35E near downtown Dallas where Fuel City sits.

It cost $4.5 million to build the space in 1999. The investment paid off: There are now two Fuel City stores, one in the original Dallas spot and a new one in Mesquite; two others are being planned. 

Benda told CNBC he did $39 million in sales last year -- not bad for an eccentric gas station. He wants his net worth to be $70 million by age 70. But he wouldn't say how close he is to that goal.

"How much am I making?" the owner says in the video. "... A lot."

Fuel City in Dallas has animals of all kinds out back. At one point, there was a camel. Owner John Benda also wants giraffes; we'll see if he can get the appropriate approval from the city.

Fuel City in Dallas has animals of all kinds out back. At one point, there was a camel. Owner John Benda also wants giraffes; we'll see if he can get the appropriate approval from the city.

Rex C. Curry
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