writing by Kendra Aronson
photography by Kendra Aronson


What was once one of the first service stations in San Luis Obispo, is now home to The Station SLO—a thoughtfully curated wine shop, mercantile, and gathering place. In essence, the building itself is still serving its original purpose as a place to fill up—only instead of gasoline, it’s a place to take in delicious crafted food, unique wine selections, and knowledge from local wine connoisseurs, artists, foodies, and makers.

Owner Kimberly Walker, co-partner of Granada Hotel & Bistro, opened The Station’s doors in July 2015. Located on South Higuera near the Marsh Street freeway exit, The Station rubs elbows with neighboring shops sitting on the outskirts of downtown: House of Bread, Smiling Dog Yoga, The Army Surplus store, Wally’s Bicycle, Appendage & Bough. “This side of town is definitely undergoing a renaissance (and) this neighborhood in particular is just starting to have a rebirth,” says Manager Jenna Congdon. Due to its locale, the space is mainly frequented and supported by SLOcals. “We are definitely a local’s place [...] We really wanted to embrace our community; The Station is very community-oriented as we host many workshops and seminars every week.”

“Our wine mission statement is to carry balanced Old World wines. We have wines from Slovenia and Portugal. I tend to lean heavily on French wines—I love wine from the Loire Valley [...] Gamay is my favorite grape so Beaujolais is always well represented here,” gushes Jenna. Though the shop has found their niche in imported wines and educational seminars, they also plan on hosting weekly pop-ups featuring local wines in the near future.

The Station also offers three unique wine club options to choose from: “Don’t Tell Me What To Drink” which includes 3 bottles of suggested wine selections each month that members can scoop up at a 20% discount (or opt out in exchange for a $50 gift card and 10% off their own selection); “Let’s Get Weird” which includes 2 international bottles at $40/month; or “California Love”—great for those who want to get deep into local wine culture and discover smaller, lesser-known wineries in the Golden State.

Every day of the week there is always something special happening at The Station. Mondays the shop is closed to the public, which allows Jenna to teach intimate wine-centric seminars 6-8 p.m. diving deep into a particular varietal (e.g. Chenin Blanc, Sake, Vermouth), region (e.g. Alsace, Northern Rhône), or pairing (e.g. Sherry + charcuterie + cheese; Spanish wine + cheese). Tuesdays they host Chef Alyx of Good Tides Organic Bistro and her massive pizza oven, freshly made market soups, and delicious dessert bar. Wednesdays are reserved for crafty workshops such as adult coloring book night, food photography, hand lettering, and culinary knife skills. Thursdays they host The Grilled Cheese Incident food truck; and Fridays they rotate their raw bar offerings out of their own vintage truck—ceviche, ahi poke, short rib pho, oysters. Saturdays they pump up the jams old-school style with vinyl records by some of the hippest DJs in town. And last but not least, “Sparkle Sundays” feature $10 glasses of sparkling Spanish wine topped with farmers’ market garnishes to end the weekend on a high note. You can always count on The Station for a good time—any day or night of the week!

Visit The Station located at 311 Higuera San Luis Obispo, Tuesday–Thursday 1–8 p.m, Friday and Saturday 1–9 p.m., and Sunday 1–6 p.m.; and thestationslo.com to sign up for their newsletter to be notified about upcoming events and wine club news.

Kendra Aronson is the writer, photographer, designer, and self-publisher of The San Luis Obispo Farmers' Market Cookbook: Simple Seasonal Recipes & Short Stories from the Central Coast of California. Visit slofarmersmarketcookbook.com to purchase your copies. 

Originally published in Edible San Luis Obispo & Wine Country 
Summer 201
6 · Issue 14