Beacon Hill’s New Wine Bar is a Cozy Community Center
The Wine Station aims to be a local gathering space for all.
By AJ Rathbun
December 12, 2017
With The Station café on Beacon Hill moving up the street across from the light rail station, owner Luis Rodriguez transformed the old café space at 2533 16th Ave. S. to the Wine Station this fall. I recently stopped in to tour the space and chat with the energetic and community-focused Rodriguez. The Wine Station sadly wasn’t open for my visit, but I did get a tour of the drink and food menus and the comfortable space. Here’s the lowdown on Beacon Hill’s new wine bar.
There’s a welcoming list of more than 15 wines by the bottle and glass, ranging from locals to Europeans and a few other worldwide choices. There were some lovely wines I recognized and I suggest starting with the Laluca Prosecco from the Veneto region of northeastern Italy, which has a nice mix of pears, citrus and minerals, and stays smoothly dry at the finish. Rodriguez says the top seller so far is the house red wine: the Spanish Honoro Vera Rioja, a well-balanced tempranillo with raspberry and other fruit notes alongside an easy-going tannic quality.
You’ll also find a short list of beer and cider, plus two classic wine cocktails: sangria and the mimosa. The latter seems perfect for the 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday brunch hours (the Wine Station is also open from 5-10 p.m., Thursday through Saturday—but be sure and check their Facebook page, as events can curtail normal hours). If you fall in love with a wine, you can purchase bottles to take home, too.
Like the drinks, the food menu isn’t vast, with current tapas-style offerings listed on an old window frame hanging on the wall. While you could make a meal by ordering multiple things, it feels more like snacks to accompany wine sippin’. The plato de queso (or cheese plate) has been a hit, as you might expect at a wine bar. It changes monthly and features three choices—the current selection is a European tour: Spanish Manchego, Italian Gorgonzola and Brie from France.
The homey menu board highlights the limited food offerings.
If all the cheese isn’t exciting the carnivores, a beef curry ball might be tempting (much as it sounds, it is a beef ball with curry sauce, but inside of a bread ball). Want to walk the cheese-meat line? The cutely-named Italian Date wraps blue-cheese stuffed dates with prosciutto. To accompany those brunch mimosas, the Wine Station offers biscuits and gravy (only available on Sundays) alongside regular menu items.
It’s cozy, as past Station visitors might expect, but there’s something wonderfully artistic about the space—the shape of the room is all interesting angles and curves. Old black-and-white photos depicting Beacon Hill of old line the walls. The Station’s wooden coffee bar remains, now pouring wine instead. Wooden tables dot the small restaurant’s concrete floors and a piano near the windows faces the street. You won’t always find it being played, but a friend of the bar regularly comes in with a repertoire of 300 songs.
The most eye-catching detail is an installation of large branches with painted birds nestled in them, which sticks out from one wall near the ceiling. It gives the room an air of enchantment, though with a sad story. A holdover from the café days, the piece was given to the owner by artist Briar Bates shortly before she passed away.
Beyond indoor seating, there are two back patios, one with wooden benches and another with metal tables and chairs. While not winter-ready, they should be fantastic spring and summer spots, especially as Rodriguez plans to fill the area with plants. He’s also planning lots of little events, to bring the community together. For example, they recently hosted a “Paint and Pour” painting class (with wine, of course) taught by local artist Stephanie Morales.
In its first few months, the Wine Station has added another place for neighbors to come together in Beacon Hill—and here, they can do it over a glass of good wine.