Turning gas stations into restaurants

Published 9:34 PM ET, Sun December 29, 2013
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Chef Ben Poremba renovated a Standard Oil gas station built in the 1930s into a wine bar and restaurant in St. Louis, Missouri. Olio opened in November 2012. Courtesy of Olio and Elaia
The vacant gas station was located in a neighborhood of St. Louis that had fallen on hard times. After Poremba opened Olio and neighboring restaurant Elaia, customers began moving into homes nearby. "The restaurant didn't alone change the neighborhood -- the people that came to visit the restaurant changed the neighborhood,' he said. Courtesy of Olio and Elaia
Located in the Virginia Highland neighborhood of Atlanta, Diesel Filling Station is a restaurant and bar that was repurposed from an old Pure Oil filling station. The restaurant preserved the original structure and blue roof. Courtesy Justin Haynie
Diesel owner Justin Haynie believes this photo of the original Pure Oil filling station was taken in the 1950s. The gas station housed several different restaurants over the years, he said. Courtesy Justin Haynie
In addition to its location, Haynie says, the restaurant's appearance is a draw for some customers. "Having a building with so much history and age to it is so unique," he said. Courtesy Justin Haynie
The Red Truck Bakery in Warrenton, Virginia, was adapted into a bakery from a vacant 1921 Esso filling station. Red Truck Bakery opened in 2009. Courtesy Brian Noyes
The building appealed to Red Truck Bakery owner Brian Noyes because it was centrally located in the heart of Warrenton. Even in the 1920s, the gas station was a place for locals to meet and socialize, he said. Courtesy Brian Noyes
Noyes gutted the interior, painted the walls and added lighting fixtures. He chose to preserve the gas station's restroom and overhead sliding garage doors. Courtesy Brian Noyes