the pumps are dry

Once-buzzy Oak Forest craft beer bar runs out of gas

Once-buzzy Oak Forest craft beer bar runs out of gas

Petrol Station exterior
Petrol Station has closed. Petrol Station/Facebook

A pioneering craft beer bar has poured its last pint. Petrol Station has permanently closed, owner Ben Fullelove tells Houstonia

Open since 2005, Petrol Station rode the rise of craft beer to become a destination for Houston's ever-growing population of people who wanted to sip a beer with actual flavor. The chalkboard menu featured a reliable mix of the best local brews alongside worthy national draughts. The bar could be particularly welcoming to patrons with a taste for ultra-hoppy IPAs and downright hostile to anyone foolish enough to ask for a Bud Light.

Customers had a range of food options to pair with their suds. None were more memorable than the Rancor burger, a bacon cheeseburger topped with a sunny-side-up egg. 

The first inkling that the bar might be in trouble came when Fullelove and his wife Sacha launched a GoFundMe page to save the business. Unfortunately, it only drew $7,500 of the requested $35,000.  

The bar announced on March 18 that it would be closed until further notice. It became official that it wouldn't reopen last week, when people started posting to social media that a for lease sign was in the window and people were seen removing equipment.

As an indoor-outdoor space with a spacious backyard, Petrol's property seems ideally suited to comply with social distancing requirements, but its future is uncertain. If nothing else, the bar's Oak Forest neighbors hope it remains family friendly; they've launched the hashtag #keepthetrain in the hopes that any future owner will preserve the wooden train that's a popular feature in the backyard.