In one of the most unassuming locations in Winchester, a new bar has opened. From the outside it looks like a nice gas station, but once you’re inside and upstairs the atmosphere is that of a really cool lounge. You can stop here for the best tasting of local and big name craft beers as well as wine, all with on-tap ease! Complete with plenty of room at the bar to accommodate whomever you’re with, Throx Market Station’s new Blue Ridge Beverage Station will prove to be everything you need – and more! We sat down with Becky Jordan Tomlin to learn all about what’s going to set Throx’s new Blue Ridge Bar apart from the rest! Enjoy.
What was the inspiration behind creating the bar? Give me the background details.
“It was kind of a natural transition to go from downstairs to incorporating all of the craft beer upstairs. Except putting in tap lines were going to be terrible, and carrying kegs up and down the stairs… and so I thought, you guys work with Go Blue Ridge Travel all the time, there’s not really anyone else here in town doing the local kind of bar scene. We just decided to highlight the best of the Blue Ridge.”
I decided to dig a little deeper, asking how their June 1st opening night went.
“It was pretty good!” she beamed. The only struggle Throx may encounter is that they have to train their downstairs employees to incorporate bartender duties and skills. “The amount of training going into this is pretty heavy, and it’s everything from what kind of cadence do you give off as a bartender, to how you interact with guests,” and of course the amount of knowledge a bartender needs to have about the drinks can be a pretty strenuous undertaking. “But our opening night was good! I would say it was a success.”
What kind of tastings can people expect to have here?
If you’re looking for a short answer, the obvious is beer and wine from mostly local sources. If you’re still scratching your head looking for more stringent details, refer to Becky’s answer:
“We are doing beer and wine, and again, we’re trying to focus on the best of the Blue Ridge, and there’s enough in the region without having to go outside of it just yet. So my plan for the next month is just breweries that are along the Blue Ridge trail and wineries as well, and then we’ll start looking outside of it. The nice thing is that even though you have a lot of the big name breweries around here like Devil’s Backbone, Blue Mountain, and Ballast Point, you have a lot of the smaller ones, too. The problem is that since prohibition in the United States, it’s a three-tier system: I can only get what distributes. So even though there’s a ton of breweries, and here in town there are six, I can only get two of them. I have to buy from the distributor, I can’t go to the brewery itself.”
What is your favorite thing about the new Blue Ridge Beverage Station?
“I think for me it’s just the chance to kind of reset downstairs. It was a lot more domestics in the beer vault, I’ve kind of changed the back of it into more local beers. So people traveling up and down 81 who might be trying to pick up something, they can stop in here and grab it and go and know they’re bringing home some cool local local beers. A lot of these breweries don’t get picked up in convenient store style places because they’re not as big. So it’s kind of nice for the smaller guys who aren’t getting a lot of exposure in the Sheetz of the world; the grocery stores of the world.”
I couldn’t agree with her message more. It is so vitally important that we buy and shop local, and that means beer and wine, too! Nothing will help a community grow more than promoting what we already have and making it even better than it already is.
What’s it like being a member of the Throx team?
“It’s been really good so far! They’ve been really receptive; they haven’t shot down any of my ideas yet.” Not surprising, as the group of people involved with Throx Market are incredibly down to earth and friendly. You can stop by any of their locations to experience that ‘home away from home’ kind of feeling.
Thanks so much for the interview Becky! As for you, dear readers, we hope to see you at Throx Market Station, where you can get gas, food, and now local craft beers straight from the tap!