Station Family + BBQ held a soft opening for media, family, friends and construction crews on Thursday, December 6 in advance of the public opening on Friday, December 7 at 4pm.
Workers were still making finishing touches on the space when media arrived, giving floors a final mop, arranging chairs and making final tweaks to the bar area.
The transformation of the old DiStasi’s restaurant space into Station has been a 14 month process, starting from when the city approached sisters and business partners Caitlin Steininger and Kelly Trush in October 2017 about revitalizing the space.
And what a revitalization it is! While there have not been any significant structural changes, the remodel – which started in earnest in May of 2018 when they took ownership of the building – transformed the building into a light, open and welcoming space for the community.
Community is really the theme for the space. The theme is underscored in the main dining room with large tables intended for family-style dining (though there are smaller tables for those wanting a more intimate experience), the new patio that opens to the Village Green and a three-season patio that opens to Wyoming Avenue that will bring the outside in.
As the name implies, Station Family + BBQ is all about family, so there is plenty for the kids to do while Mom and Dad hang out. A selection of board games is close at hand, along with a ping-pong table and a skeeball game.
Menu offerings include pulled pork, smoked chicken wings, brisket and smoked salmon and what Steininger calls Cincinnati-style sausage. All are delicious, but I especially enjoyed the pulled pork and brisket, both of which are smoked with a little more fat than some other local BBQ offering, accentuating the flavor.
The Cincinnati-style chili is Caitlin’s tip of the hat to Cincinnati-style chili, offering similar flavor accents. She came up with the blend of meat and spices which gets ground and put into casings just up the block at Wyoming Meat Market before going into Station’s on-site smoker.
All of the meats are available with your selection of four sauces: a classic, tomato-based sauce; Alabama White – a tangy mayonnaise based sauce with a touch of horseradish; mustard-based South Carolina; and, a vinegar and red pepper based North Carolina sauce.
Sides are expected to change quarterly, but right now, diners can select from braised greens, mac & cheese, caramelized onion gratin, sweet potato fries, homemade applesauce, slaw and BBQ carrots. Appetizers include smoked chicken wings, fried spoonbread and a house-made pickle platter.
The beer and wine selections are wider and a bit more diverse than can be found on hand at CWC. Also available are a selection of cocktails cleverly named for their local contractor, architect and designer.
Station will also open at 11am on Friday and 9am on Saturday with a special brunch menu.
Chef Caitlin Steininger walked away from the opening of her second restaurant for 2 months over the summer. While her sister Kelly Trush told everyone that asked that she was on extended vacation in Italy, the truth is that Caitlin was off in parts south for the filming of Season 16 of Top Chef. The show premiered Thursday evening at 9 p.m.
Trush tells me that while Caitlin was missed, construction went on without her. The main complication, I am told, was the in-house installation of the large smoker, which required the removal of some walls along with some creative ductwork.
Station Family + BBQ opens at 4pm on Friday, December 7 to the general public. As the sign in their foyer says – they can’t wait to feed you!
Station Family + BBQ / 400 Wyoming Ave. / www.cincystation.com / 513-679-6790
Tuesdays, Wednesday, Thursday, 4pm-9pm / Friday 11am – 11pm / Saturday, 9am – 11pm