The Filling Station & Garage Bar has found a new home — 36 miles north from its old post on Southeast Second Street in downtown Miami.
The dive bar and restaurant opened up in its new Oakland Park location at 3200 NE 12th Ave. on July 1, about half a year after shuttering its doors in Miami. The old Filling Station operated out of the Second Street space for six years, before a combination of increased rent and the challenges that come with an older building pushed owner Adam Feigeles to look elsewhere.
And although the Oakland Park space has only been in business for about a month, patrons already feel like the bar has belonged to the neighborhood for decades.
“People are coming in and saying that it feels like we’ve been here for 40 years, which is what we were shooting for,” Feigeles says.
Feigeles and his team decorated in the new space over the course of six months, according to Feigeles’ son Mitchell. From the wood paneling to the license plates to the tap handle "beer garden" out front, the bar is distinctly Filling Station, with a clean, bright finish.
“It’s great because we have a lot of clients that just work downtown, but they live in Weston and Plantation and Davie and Fort Lauderdale and they are all coming here now for dinner,” Feigeles says. “Nobody wanted to drive back downtown at night.”
One thing is distinctly un-Miami at the new space, which is just down the street from Oakland Park’s beer mecca, the Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery: free parking.
The bar also got a few other upgrades in the move, including twice as many tap handles, a hard liquor license in the works, and more member mugs. The Filling Station offers a deal for patron that buy a yearly subscription for the member mug beer special, and for patrons that migrate up north from the Miami spot, there’s a deal to keep the mug for a free year.
“A lot of people did, about 40,” Feigeles says. “We’re hoping for about 250 members.” The glass mugs line the walls behind the bar in the new location, just like they did in the old one.
For those that remember the tater tots and wings along with the beer, the menu has remained the same but it seems that the Broward patrons have taken a liking to something distinctly 305. The most popular food item now is the Burgatti Burger, formerly known as the Sargento Burger.
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“Well, there’s a car called a Bugatti,” Feigeles says. And people are going crazy for the burger-fied version with two slices of cheddar, two slices of pepper jack, pepper bacon, balsamic caramelized onions, garlic mayonnaise, and a fried egg. “It’s awesome, and we sell more … It’s ridiculous. Just by changing the name,” Feigeles says.
The Filling Station in Miami hosted weekly happy hours and events ranging from trivia to Ladies’ Night and that type of programming will eventually pop up at the new location once Feigeles and his staff get a hold of what the new neighborhood wants. Right now, it’s just weekly trivia on Wednesday and a monthly Jeep rally on Thursday.
When the Filling Station was in Miami, a red flag seemed to be when free beer on Ladies’ Night was discontinued. A friend pointed out that the real sign the spot might not last in that location was that there was only a handful of ladies showing up for free beer. But in Oakland Park, a lack of patrons showing up — and even paying for beer — doesn’t seem to be a problem. In the middle of the afternoon, patrons old and new were lining up along the Filling Station’s bar, taking a break from the a hot summer day.