A minute from the Amtrak station in Kelso is a longstanding bar and grill with a new name and planned renovations to bring people downtown.
Tammie Chandler, 54, said she took over the Maltese Tavern in the fall, renaming the Pine Street business The Station Pub & Grub to play off the nearby Amtrak station and railroad. The sign features a train and the colors blue, gold and white to represent Kelso School High School, where her children attended.
Chandler said she plans to incorporate the colors throughout the design of the pub, which only serves ages 21 and up. An inside remodel is planned for the fall, she added, to expand the kitchen. She also plans to add about a dozen two- and four-top tables with umbrellas in front of the building for outdoor seating.
“It will be nice in the summertime,” she said.
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Chandler was a night bartender for the establishment for roughly two decades, she added, before purchasing the pub from Bruce Birchfield when he retired after owning the tavern for roughly 25 years. She said she is the fourth owner of the Kelso staple.
Since taking over in October, Chandler said she revamped the menu, adding vegan options like a Beyond Meat burger, which is plant-based, and brightened the dining room by clearing coverings on the building’s expansive windows. She said she plans to add more vegan options to the menu like cauliflower tacos.
She added meat lover options too. A Rueben, hot pastrami sandwich and French dip with pepper jack and jalapenos were added by Chandler, she said. The French dip was inspired by a brewer at Explorer Brewery Company down the street and aptly named the Brewer’s dip as a result, she added.
The Station has a full bar with draft and bottles beers and is known for its Lemon Drops, Long Island Iced Teas and bloody marys, Chandler said.
Venita Goodrich, of Longview, is a longtime regular, she said, first visiting The Station under the previous owner in 2019. Goodrich said she and “her other half” frequent the pub for karaoke on Fridays and to watch games on the big screen TVs and have bloody marys on Sundays. The Station also offers karaoke on Saturdays and Mondays.
Goodrich said she likes The Station because a mix of ages frequent the bar and the food specials are always a hit.
“The food’s amazing,” she said.
The bar offers classic cheeseburgers, as well as burger twists, including a western burger with barbecue sauce, onion rings, chipotle ranch, pepper jack and bacon. Chandler said The Station also offers a popular burger called Mr. O, which adds an entire Denver omelet on top of a beef patty and is served on a bun.
The bar and grill features live music once a month and includes seven pool tables, a foosball table and a dart board. The bar is part of a local pool league, in which sign-ups are usually in August and games start in September, Chandler said. Anytime, people can play pool for $3 an hour or for free, from 4 to 7 p.m., if they purchase a drink, she added.
Chandler said regulars frequent the bar, but the friendly atmosphere attracts newbies too.
“We have amazing food and amazing staff,” she said. “It’s a fun place to hang out.”
Talking Business is a series featuring local new or expanded businesses and prints every Tuesday. The series was suspended during the pandemic and recently restarted.
Contact Daily News City Editor Hayley Day at 360-577-2541 or [email protected] for possible inclusion in the series.