Fillin' Station opens in Rowena
There is a new watering hole in Rowena, pardner. The Fillin' Station Bar and Grill opened on July 2nd, "I've always wanted to restore an old gas station. When this one became available, I jumped on it," says owner Clinton McIntosh.
The brightly painted homage to the history of the old "filling stations," sits at 201 Edward Street. The former Gulf gas station is a bright spot in an area that was once the center of activity. Economic changes have required small business owners to adapt over the last couple of decades. McIntosh has the Fillin' Station, Mike McNeil opened the Horny Toad Brewery a couple of blocks away, and the Lowake Steakhouse moved to a location on the highway from their original location out by Paint Rock.
The influx of ingenuity is helping to breathe life into an area that is often left baking under a merciless West Texas sun. McIntosh decorated the inside of the establishment with a rustic American feel, as if you're walking through those doors into a 1970s-era bar and grill or watering hole.
The decor isn't just a bunch faux "vintage" items that McIntosh picked up off of the internet or at a store, "I collected a lot of this when I was a kid. I'd go through old cars, junkyards, and dumpsters and find cool stuff. I've been collecting it my entire life."
The music is old country, piped in through speakers from Sirius XM. Songs from George Strait, Reba McEntire, Barbara Mandrell, Hank Williams, Charley Pride, and Kenny Rogers, among others. The music fittingly puts the finishing touches on the flare of authentic Americana.
McIntosh, originally from Dumas, found his oasis of history in Rowena from his job, "I drove a truck for 20 years. I came here 5 years ago because I just love this area."
The bar will be adding a jukebox in the near future. It also has a couple of pool tables, along with the usual table and chairs.
The grill serves staples of bar fare; hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken strips, etc. The cook is Clintion's son, Wyatt. The beer is cold, with McIntosh offering specials such as Thirsty Thursdays. The bar also supports other local business, such as serving beer from the Horny Toad Brewery just a couple of blocks away.
You can find the bar on Facebook at Rowena Fillin' Station Bar & Grill.