Rio Station is named for the historic passenger train station that used to run through the area, taking travelers to and from the shore. Today, although the train is long gone, folks are still making a stop at the station on the way to the shore.
"We get a huge amount of locals in the offseason, but we're really a powerhouse for people on the way to Wildwood in the summer," says restaurant manager Jim Rutherford, son of Rio Station's owner Ric Rutherford.
Rio Station is a bar and restaurant in Rio Grande known for its homemade food, (Ric's other son, Rick, is the head chef) its bar and its entertainment.
The Rutherford family opened the train-themed restaurant 26 years ago and it's been "chugging along" ever since, while being open 365 days a year, serving locals and visitors alike.
Rio Station consists of two separate areas: a dining room, serving lunch and dinner, and a bar area.
"People literally say they're two separate worlds," Jim says.
The bar area is open daily 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. with happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays and 4 to 9 p.m. Fridays. Happy hour includes $1 off all drinks from the full bar featuring 16 beers on tap, 16 wines by the glass from an extensive, award-winning wine list, and countless mixed drinks.
Rio Station features live music every Thursday night beginning at 9 p.m., with a 25-cent wings special.
Friday nights feature "Kerry-oke" night, hosted by Kerry O'Brien. Kerry-oke starts at 9 p.m. in the bar.
Award-winning wine selection:
Winner of the 2011 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, Rio Station is known for its extensive and eclectic wine selection.
Ric, a wine aficionado and the restaurant's wine director, says the selection includes something for everyone and is broken down into categories to make choosing easier.
Categories include: Bottles $25 and under, Sparklers & Dessert Wine, Pinks, Crisp Lighter Whites, Bolder Fuller Whites, Red Wines from America, Reserve Red from America, T-Vine from California (T-Vine wines are carefully crafted, reflecting the origin of the grape,) Red Wines from Spain, Reserve Red Wines from Spain, Bodegas Alto Moncayo from Spain, (New World Style with Old World Charm,) Wines from France, Wines from Italy, Wines from Australia, Wines from Argentina and Luca Wines from Argentina (A New Breed of Argentine Wine, Small Quantities, Artisan Quality).
Ric and his staff are also happy to help guests pick the perfect wine to pair with their meal.