A fixture of the downtown Tuscaloosa bar scene is permanently closing after twenty years in Temerson Square - a remarkably long time for that part of town.

The Filling Station first opened in December 2003, replacing a coffee shop called Ground Zero, according to a contemporaneous story published in the Tuscaloosa News.

The bar did business at 411 23rd Avenue, which the paper described as "behind Mellow Mushroom." That restaurant closed in 2017, then became the Grocery Brewpub, which then closed after about a year in business and the space is now the home of the expanded Avenue Pub, if that gives any sense of the Filling Station's staying power.

(Filling Station on Facebook)
(Filling Station on Facebook)
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The bar's founder told the News he called it the Filling Station because he wanted to create a place for people "running on empty who need to go in for a fill-up."

The small, unassuming space became a haven for townies and students alike, and was beloved by downtown barflies for its pool table, a back patio for smoking or enjoying nice weather, great specials and seasonal events like crawfish boils.

(Filling Station on Facebook)
(Filling Station on Facebook)

Managers at the bar shared the news on Facebook Wednesday night.

"It's been a great Run Tuscaloosa!" the post read. "Thanks for the memories, but we are Out!!"

For news about the next tenant for that space when it becomes available and other exclusive coverage of restaurant and retail development in west Alabama, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

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Gallery Credit: (Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)

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