According to Larry Stone, Station House 81 is on its way to becoming the go-to spot for dining and entertainment in the area.
The bar and eatery, located in Commercial Point, boasts a full menu of dishes and select beer and wines. Also offered are various entertainment options for guests which, Stone says, is what separates his restaurant from the other local stops.
“Our goal is to provide great food and quality entertainment,” Stone said. “Although there are are several quality single-proprietor establishments in Pickaway County, none seem to combine great food and entertainment. In addition to having a variety of musicians, we have well-known comedians at least every six weeks. All our comedy shows sell out on a regular basis.”
One such musical act is blues group Dock Adams and the Blues Hammer. After getting in contact with Adams and listening to a sample of the band's style, Stone says he knew what needed to be done.
“As our reputation as an entertainment venue grows, we are often contacted by musicians seeking to play at Station House 81,” Stone said. “Dock Adams and the Blues Hammer contacted us and after listening the quality of their band, we quickly decided to book them on three different dates. They are extremely talented and fit in with our model of offering top quality entertainment.”
Like any venue, Stone says the business has seen its fair share of change. One difference, the owner says, is how Station House 81 is focusing on wines as well as dining.
“In past years, Station House 81 was known more as a bar, but our focus has been to be a quality restaurant with a great bar and entertainment,” Stone said. “We offer a great selection of hard to find wines for under $20 and offer activities such as wine parties and wine tastings.”
The menu has seen an overhaul as well.
“We have completely changed our menu to feature outstanding barbecue along with an emphasis on fresh ingredients versus traditionally fried foods. With our barbecue, we now offer full-service catering. We have upgraded our pizza and deliver our entire menu along with beer and wine within a specified radius of Commercial Point,” Stone said.
Stone continued, noting community support. From produce to people, he says it’s good business to invest in neighbors.
“In a small community like ours, we strive to be good neighbors,” Stone said. “We hire locally, we use produce grown locally when in season and work closely with the local schools and sports organizations. We are one of the featured sponsors of the Karting Classic, which is a regionally-recognized and highly-attended two-day go-cart racing event the first week of August.”
As mentioned, Stone hires locally. With a community-minded philosophy, he depends on his friends and family to help deliver the quality customer service Station House 81 has been striving to provide.
“My wife, Theresa Penrose, helps out quite often as she is a school teacher at Jackson Middle School,” Stone said. “Our partner, Chat Rutter, who is a highly experienced cook and pitmaster, and myself, take care of the day to day operations.”
As for goals, Stone made it crystal clear.
“Our goal is not to be just a place, but a destination.”
The band Little Red and the Rooster will be featured entertainment at the venue on June 12. The group, hailing from France, was voted best group at the Columbus Blues Festival.
Station House 81 is located at 11 Front Street in Commercial Point. It is open seven days a week. For more information, go to stationhouse81.com or call 614-877-0000.