On Feb. 28, 2022, a new post was made in the r/mildlyinteresting subreddit on Reddit, titled: "The gas station by my house has a full bar inside." The thread took off and was one of the most popular posts on Reddit on that day.
Rumors on the subject of gas stations usually involve misleading pictures of gas prices that are shared on social media. However, this claim was a bit different.
As we've seen with other photographs and captions in the past, these kinds of pictures and their curious appeal, whether they were true or not, usually continue to be shared for many years to come.
However, this photograph was not misleading or miscaptioned. It's true that it showed a gas station with a full bar inside.
Reddit user u/FamousAmos00, the person who posted the picture, said that it was taken at the Vibrant Express bar inside a Shell gas station in Maineville, Ohio. The official location was 720 US-22 in the town of Morrow.
On the bar's Facebook page, it mentioned the large alcoholic offering in its description: "One-stop shop for best chicken, craft beer, wine, [and] Growler fill in town. Our goal is to provide [the] best service and products. Please visit our location."
Photographs on the page also showed the seating area that was not visible in the picture that was posted to Reddit:
Customers can be updated about the current beer offerings by checking the gas station's page on untappd.com.
The top comment on Reddit read: "This is the epitome of promoting drinking and driving." Out of curiosity, we reached out to an official in Ohio to learn more about how alcohol licenses and permits for gas stations work in the state. Brandon Klein, a media contact with the Ohio Division of Liquor Control, responded to our email with the following: "With regard to the permit holder of the Morrow, Ohio, gas station there were no institutions within 500 feet and the legislative authority did not object to either the bar and restaurant applications. The permit holder met the requirements for those permits. Having gas pumps is not a legal factor considered in the determination of whether to issue a permit or deny it."
A Popular Hangout Spot
Various videos on the Facebook page for the Vibrant Express bar at the Shell Morrow gas station showed quite a few people crowding in for a drink back in 2019:
The videos had the same atmosphere that one might expect to find at any other normal bar. The only difference here was that patrons were having a drink while standing near lottery tickets, chewing gum, rotating hot dogs, and all kinds of candy, snacks, and beverages.
The gas station had even brought in musicians to play, as seen in this video from a Friday night in November 2019:
In sum, yes, it's true that a photograph really did show an unusual sight: a full bar inside an otherwise normal gas station.