Barred: Station House

Scripps via Riverfront Times Scripps via Riverfront Times

When: Wednesday, 9:03pm

Despite billing as a gastropub, the Station House might possibly be the most Guy Fieri establishment I’ve ever been to–and I’ve been to two Guy Fieri restaurants. It’s also possible that I’m just responding to our server’s easygoing “hey, guys” rasp and thumb’s up flashing when checking in. (At least it wasn’t the hand gesture pictured above.)

Continually, I was convinced I was in another city. First, when I noticed $39 12 oz. beers highlighted on the menu. It was like when you’re disoriented in a foreign place and it takes a second to register that you’re seeing kroner or baht. Then I remembered I was off the E train in Queens, which still didn’t explain the barrel-aged Vespers, $14 cocktails (having just sampled a few quality tiki drinks for $10) short rib kimchi empanadas (which I ate and enjoyed) and Blueshammer-esque tunes I couldn’t muster the energy to Shazam. I think all second and third tier cities now have a place like this. I’ve been to them in Oklahoma City and Charlotte. I’d like to believe this is what Hoboken is made up of in its entirety.

Despite the fratty portrait I’m painting, the crowd was not homogenous, a hallmark of Queens that I always appreciate. There were young black women sitting with emo girls, grizzly men in baseball caps, a gentleman with an Aztec profile in a peacoat, and most importantly for my intents and purposes: two women hovering around 40, one with a bun, one with an indoor scarf.

Age appropriate? Close enough. While the average age was around 29, there was nothing that translated as uncomfortable for those a few decades older. I would argue that the Blackberry Bootlegger (Virginia Highland Port-finished Scotch, pinot noir, blackberries, ginger, lemon) is begging to be drunk by a mature woman.

Was I carded? No. I was surprised, though, to see what was either an informal doorman or authoritative customer with the appearance of one sitting on a stool near the entrance as I was leaving.

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