- Courtesy Of Brian Lewis
- Brian Lewis in front of a mural by Tara Goreau at Filling Station
In 2018, while eating a sandwich at Red Hen Baking in Middlesex, Brian Lewis looked across the street at an old service center and said, "That's my next restaurant." When Filling Station opens at 970 Route 2 in late January or early February, his declaration will come true.
The Middlesex restaurant will be the second for Lewis, who opened Waitsfield's Toast & Eggs in 2018. Toast & Eggs regulars will notice a handful of familiar dishes on Filling Station's weekend brunch menu, but the new restaurant will focus on dinner — something that Middlesex is missing, Lewis said.
"With this new place, I want to offer more of a nightlife experience," Lewis said. "As much as I love creating hearty breakfast dishes for Toast & Eggs, my experience is more at night."
Lewis spent 15 years cooking on the West Coast, including sushi training at Nobu in Los Angeles. He'll bring that influence to Filling Station, serving a small menu of vegetable dishes, burgers, salads and sushi. Filling Station will also offer a robust bar program of creative cocktails and nonalcoholic drinks developed by bar manager Rebecca Rogers, a native Vermonter who returned to the state during the pandemic.
The garage-like building most recently housed Sally's Second Act Thrift Shop; renovating it into a restaurant has been a big project, but Lewis said COVID-19 didn't slow down his plans. Filling Station will have a walk-up takeout window, an upgraded air filtration system and extensive outdoor dining space.
"This place will be prepared for COVID," he said. "Rather than retrofitting it, it's outfitted to deal with the pandemic."