Deep Ellum News

New retro Thunderbird Station bar in Deep Ellum is ready to rumble

New retro Thunderbird Station bar in Deep Ellum is ready to rumble

Thunderbird Station
Thunderbird Station, Deep Ellum. Courtesy photo

A vintage gas station in Deep Ellum has been repurposed into a new full-service bar with bites. Called Thunderbird Station, it's from veteran bar owner Kim Finch, and will open at 3000 Commerce St. on September 22.

A release describes the concept as "a nod to yesteryear," with themed specialty cocktails such as:

  • The Peel Out, a Push Pop-inspired frozen vodka cocktail
  • G-Tea-0, with tea-infused gin and mint lemonade
  • JunkYard Dog, an A&W root beer-based vodka drink

They'll also have beer served in frosty mug drafts and cans.

The bites part of the menu is also nostalgic, with a nod to vintage fare with aptly named offerings including:

  • Hot Rod's (Luscher’s Red Hots two ways)
  • Rudolph's Meat Market Bologna sandwiches
  • Frito Pie
  • Bean Dip
  • Sloppy Joes in three versions, including a vegetarian option

Some dishes also have gas-station themes to celebrate the building's original purpose, including the Mechanic Board, a fun twist on a charcuterie board with meat and cheeses such as sharp cheddar, pepper jack, pimento, summer sausage, pepperoni, bologna, or tuna salad, served with Ritz crackers, honey roasted nuts, and pickled beet relish; and Dirty Dipsticks, aka spicy garlic skinny French fries.

Originally built in 1922, the building was home to the Riegel's Gulf Service auto shop for 62 years, from 1954 to 2002. It recently housed Bowls and Tacos, a restaurant from the owners of Braindead Brewing, which closed in February 2019.

Finch knows the neighborhood: It's in the same area on the eastern edge of Deep Ellum bordering Exposition Park as Double Wide, the bar she opened in 2003.

In addition to a bar and indoor seating, the concept has a 5,400-square-foot patio, so relevant during these coronavirus times.

Finch says in a release that they're excited to finally get the doors open; she's been working on the space since December 2019.

"Designing it during a pandemic has certainly been a challenge," she says in a statement. "We wanted to honor the history of the building and have put all of our energy into maintaining the retro look and vintage feel while keeping true to the neighborhood."