BEST OF SPRINGFIELD: Station 1 tops bar food, earns three other finalist nods

Springfield’s Station 1 doesn’t have a fancy slogan or gimmick. It lets its offerings and atmosphere do the work.

“We just try to provide a safe, fun place to come for food or entertainment,” said Station 1 owner Sara Montei. “A place for somebody to get a cocktail at the end of the day or to hear a band. A place everybody’s welcomed.”

Voters of the 2021 Best of Springfield contest have expressed appreciation by naming Station 1 first for Best Bar Food, second in Best Bar/Brewpub and third in Best Pizza and Best Wings/Chicken.

» ALL THE WINNERS: See the new champs in all 43 Best of Springfield categories

Station 1, situated across a fire station at 325 N. Fountain Ave., offers pizza, subs and sandwiches, wraps, chicken wings, salads and appetizers. A newly remodeled kitchen has made the food operation even better.

Possibly the hardest thing for beer lovers at Station 1 is deciding from 52 selections on tap, many from breweries around Ohio to go with the familiar brands.

“We try hard to keep things fresh and current,” Montei said.

The second-hardest choice could be deciding where to sit, as Station 1 offers indoor seating as well as tables in the front and a patio out back overlooking Buck Creek, which is ideal for live music and other events.

While the food and drinks are the highlights, Station 1 has special events such as trivia nights every Wednesday and open mic nights on Thursdays, while Friday and Saturday nights offer live music on the patio when weather permits.

Given Station 1′s close proximity to the Wittenberg University campus, Montei said she enjoys it when people visiting for events on the campus discover Station 1. Sometimes, after students graduate, they stop by on visits after making it part of their college experience.

As proud as she is of Station 1′s food, Montei is also appreciative of her staff, some of whom have worked there since before she took ownership 8 1/2 years ago.

“I feel so lucky we have such a great, loyal staff. One of our favorite things is getting to know our customers, and they become like a little part of our Station family,” Montei said. “Some of our employees refer to the people who come in as ‘mom and pop,’ and there are lots of hugs.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, Station 1 had carryout, and Montei was looking out for employees’ health in every way.

Montei said anything extra Station 1 earns goes back into the business and making it feel more inviting, current and fun, which is important as she is a Springfield native and proud of the community.

“We want what’s best for Springfield. I love Springfield, and we’ll do everything we can to make it great here,” she said.

Station 1 is open noon to 1 a.m. on Sunday; 4 p.m. to midnight on Monday; 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Tuesday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

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