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Local Pub Petrol Station Closes Shop

The influential Garden Oaks beer bar played a critical role in teaching Houstonians about craft brews.

By Timothy Malcolm June 18, 2020

Petrol Station, one of Houston's most celebrated bars, and a place that educated countless residents about craft beer, has served up its final pint. Bar owner Ben Fullelove confirmed through a Facebook message to Houstonia that it has closed permanently.

Petrol Station, which opened in a former gas station back in 2007, was founded by Fullelove as a cafe and refuge for craft beer in a time when harder-to-find brands weren't as readily available in Houston. Petrol was known early on for its no-nonsense attitude about beer: Essentially, if you asked for macro stuff, you'd hear about it. But because of that, Petrol earned early praise and love from the craft beer crowd; plus, it made a killer burger called the Rancor.

As Petrol continued to educate, Fullelove brought Brash Brewing, which he started in Massachusetts, to Houston in 2015. In recent years, maybe as the Bayou City's craft crowd has grown into family life, Petrol had become a haven for parents and young children, thanks mostly to its expansive back yard with a wooden train play area.

Recently, the Fulleloves started a GoFundMe aimed at saving Petrol Station. According to them, COVID-19 and the subsequent closure of all bars in Harris County "devastated" their business.

"We are facing deep challenges as business owners and we are reaching out to our friends of the Petrol Station for help in this time of crisis," read the GoFundMe page. "If you could spare the cost of a pint to help an old friend in need, we would be so very grateful."

Petrol played a critical role in the evolution of beer drinking here in Houston. It will be missed. And while it's uncertain what the future will be for 985 Wakefield Dr, we'll update if we get any further information.

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