Renovated service station combines a vintage vibe with modern taps & tastes.
A gas station turned brewpub restaurant—now there’s something unique. After sitting vacant for more than two years, the old Wally’s Service Station has been reborn as Town Hall Station. “I took one look at the place and thought, ‘God, this is going to be fantastic,’ ” Pete Rifakes, co-owner and founder of Town Hall says. The new spot has quickly become a neighborhood fixture.
“Town Hall Station is unique to the Pamela Park community. When we build a place it’s unique to the neighborhood.” Rifakes says. The restaurant is the fourth in the Town Hall family and first outside of Minneapolis. “The food and the beer is our interpretation of what we think people would like here.”
The Town Hall Station offers a warm welcome. The spacious patio doubles the seating capacity of the 70-seat interior. Airiness resonates from the indoor-outdoor bar framed by three former garage door openings. The modernized industrial look ties design together with unexpected details—a wrench here, a metal cage light there. A wall-sized neon clock is a fun focal point.
The new restaurant is a conversion from Wally’s but pays homage to its service station-oriented roots. “A brewpub is a full-service type of thing,” Rifakes says. The full-service price of gas was $3.49 a gallon on the day Wally’s Service Station closed. That same number endures as the happy hour pint price—a fitting tribute to the former business.
Happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. A late-night happy hour extends Sunday through Thursday from 9 to 11 p.m. During happy hour, signature Town Hall beers and seasonal selections are $3.49. Appetizers and select wines are $2 off. Such generous deals as these beg for another serving of food and drink.
Town Hall Station touts award-winning brews. “Local and craft beer has become a big part of America right now,” Rifakes says. “Beer geeks know of us.” Memorable libations take form in barrel-aged beers, lagers and infusions.
Enter the flagship Pitstop cherry lager, a beer so bursting with orchard goodness and immensity even non-beer drinkers might convert. This cherry beer is a one-of-a-kind brew not to be missed. It’s the sort of standout beer that Town Hall concocts from excellent ingredients. After discovering the Balaton cherry in Michigan, brewmaster Mike Hoops was inspired. “If we could use these in beer, it would be a perfect fit. We had to put it into play and Edina was the lucky winner.” Hoops says.
The selection of 13 Town Hall-brewed taps, plus craft cocktails and fine wines is tempting. Locally sourced rail spirits provide the base for Town Hall’s classic and new cocktails. For a fun non-alcoholic option, go for the house-made root beer.
The kitchen also lives up to the Town Hall award-winning beer standard with innovative modern pub fare. Rifakes shares his love of road food in tacos, burgers, sandwiches, soups and salads. It’s the kind of local, scratch-cooking food he experiences during his travels throughout the U.S. Simple touches elevate bar food into something more: Best-quality dishes brim with distinct flavor profiles, all at affordable prices. The chili-lime grilled marlin and black H2O short-rib melt take top price honors at a reasonable $15 each.
For appetizers, the sweet corn nachos ($12) are characteristically creative in a light yet flavorful take on a popular staple. Pungent housemade sauces enliven corn, black beans and grilled Parmesan potatoes over crispy-thin chips. Another shareable, the Cheddar and jalapeño-stuffed pretzel ($7; two for $12), makes an ideal beer side. From meat to fish to veggies, the taco lineup will not disappoint.
Kids are not left out, with their own menu priced from $5 to $7. A fun smaller-portioned selection offers buttered noodles, quesadillas, chicken strips, a junior burger, and fish and chips.
Family-friendly is a mantra here. Dogs are welcome on the patio.
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