You’d Never Know That These Successful Restaurants Had Been Gas Stations In The Midwest

 In Food, Guide

Sometimes restaurant owners borrow a little fuel from the automobile industry to propel their ventures into must-hit spots.

Dave Bailey began his restaurant adventure back in 2004 with the introduction of Baileys’ Chocolate Bar to the Lafayette Square neighborhood in St. Louis. Now the restaurateur has several go-to spots for everything from upscale vegetarian fare and cocktails to burgers and crepes with Rooster, Bridge Tap House, The Fifth Wheel at 4 Hands Brewing Co., Small Batch, Shift Test Kitchen & Take Out and Baileys’ Range. There’s also more curated dining experiences through Fifth Wheel Catering and event spaces like Slate.

To expand his mark in St. Louis, Bailey will open a second, smaller version of Baileys’ Range at 4175 Shaw Boulevard in 2017, with plans to offer expertly crafted burgers and shakes. The kicker? It’s going to be housed in an abandoned filling station and auto repair shop that dates back to 1924.

Bailey isn’t the first to refashion an old gas station or garage into a restaurant. Here are three more eateries that have hungry diners in the Midwest saying “Fill ‘er up!”

Photo courtesy of Garage Bar

Photo courtesy of Garage Bar.

1/ Garage Bar, Louisville
Louisville continues to claim a spot on the foodie map with innovative restaurants like Garage Bar. Housed in a former auto service garage in the East Market area of downtown, diners are transported back in time with the historic saloon vibes. Enjoy ice cold draft beer or one of more than 30 Kentucky bourbons while noshing on wood-fired brick oven pizzas or Southern plates made from fresh, local ingredients. Watch as meals are prepared in the open kitchen, or play a game of ping pong with friends. 700 East Market Street, Louisville, Kentucky


Photo courtesy of Olio

Photo courtesy of Olio.

2/ Olio, St. Louis
Just a couple of blocks away from the new Baileys’ Range site, Ben Poremba’s nationally recognized Olio sparkles in a 1930s gas station. Its features warm lighting provides a relaxed atmosphere for guests to enjoy more than 150 wines, a top-of-the-line spirits program and a menu of shareable plates with artisan meats and cheeses, hummus, sandwiches and more. It’s attached to Elaia, a renovated 1890 brick home known for unique cuisine with a nod to Mediterranean flavors. 1634 Tower Grove Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri


Genessee Royale Bistro in Kansas City

Photo courtesy of TheDLC via Flickr Creative Commons.

3/ Genessee Royale Bistro, Kansas City
In Kansas City’s booming foodie scene, dining at Genessee Royale Bistro for brunch is a treat. Owned and operated by Todd Schulte and Tracy Zinn, the bistro is in KC’s popular Stockyards District of the historic West Bottoms. The former filling station is decked out in an eclectic mix of repurposed retro decor. Enjoy creative breakfast or lunch items like Toad in the Hole made with griddle toast, sunny-side-up egg, autumn veggies and micro greens; or the popular buttermilk fried chicken biscuit. Wash everything down with house made beverages like the bubbly Lillet Royale, infused with lillet, elderflower and grapefruit. 1531 Genessee Street, Kansas City, Missouri

Featured photo courtesy of Bailey’s Range.

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