One recent afternoon at Station 118, in downtown Thomaston, a customer nursing an Allagash White and waiting for a to-go brisket was reminiscing about once, when the place was an auto shop, falling into the mechanics’ grease pit directly beneath where his chair was now. His grown daughter, sitting there too, remembered filling up her bike tires after school at the free air pump. After the station closed, the building sat vacant for at least a decade, until about seven years ago, when a local lobster distributor bought it with the intention of opening a restaurant. After some fits and starts, Station 118 began serving in the summer of 2020, churning out barbecue from the massive smokers out back. The interior was suitably unfussy for a barbecue joint, with painted concrete floors, a small bar, and stainless-steel tables. A glass garage door opens onto a post-and-beam patio with a corrugated metal roof out front. After just a year of operating during the pandemic, though, the previous owner put the place up for sale.
118 Main St., Thomaston. 207-593-8208.
Starters $7–$16, entrées $15–$26.
Biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs with pulled pork and brisket, and house-cured ham count among brunch options, as do bloody Marys and mimosas.
Co-owner Emily Moreau makes cheesecakes, dabbling in some unexpected flavors, from bananas Foster to habanero cherry chocolate to Fireball whiskey.
Emily Moreau and Scott Goldrick heard it was on the market. Life partners (and now business partners), the pair had met while working at Rockport’s Samoset Resort, then moved on to Camden’s now-defunct Rhumb Line restaurant and Thomaston’s Slipway, where Moreau was the general manager and Goldrick was head chef. When they went to check out Station 118, Goldrick recalls, “We looked at each other and immediately said, ‘We want this.’” It hit the perfect note for them, Moreau says, of “casual, unique, and comfortable.” Last August, after finalizing the purchase, the couple spent a month coming up with a menu, then reopened.
They decided they wanted to offer something for everyone, so they included familiar shore fare — haddock, scallops — plus flatbreads and some vegetarian offerings, like barbecue tofu and mushroom sliders, utilizing local ingredients whenever possible. For appetizers, there are fried pickles, cheese fries, and wings. The chili comes regular or vegetarian. Still, smoked meats remain the focus (even a couple of salads come with bite-size cuts of pork belly). Pulled pork, pork ribs, and beef brisket all get two sides, and barbecue baked beans and cornbread are a tough combo to beat, but a good argument could be made for adding the creamy mac and cheese as an extra. Just about everything, including the hot sauces, is made from scratch, and Goldrick takes particular pride in his rotating cast of specials, like a smoked pork chop served with an herb spaetzle and chutney. “It’s really funky,” Moreau laughs. “Sometimes it’s like, ‘Can we do this?’ And I’m like, ‘Listen, we’re eating in a gas station. We can do anything.’”
They say the community support has been remarkable as they’ve navigated running their own place for the first time, amid a pandemic no less, and that it was especially helpful to be able to recruit from a trusted bunch of servers, bartenders, and cooks they’d worked with before. Now, they have a cast of regular customers — and a few who boast about having tried everything on the menu. Here, that’d be no small feat.