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Local Station in Braselton celebrates first anniversary in business
Local Station
Local Station in Braselton is celebration its first year in business as the new restaurant has been a hit with diners. The eatery is at 108 Brassie Lane in Braselton. - photo by Scott Rogers
Local Station
Where: 108 Brassie Lane, Braselton
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 9 p.m. Sunday

Call: 706-921-4192

On the corner of Ga. Highway 53 and Davis Street in Braselton, a gas station used to sit. After that, it was a men’s consignment store. Then it was a country store. Each and every time it changed, most everything remained the same. That’s why Jack Ansley said those businesses weren’t successful.

“In the past, people had tried not to spend any money on it,” said Ansley, who owns Jeffrey’s Sports Grill and Jacks in Braselton. “A lot of people had just tried to use it as it was, without upgrading it to what it needed to be.”

But with his competitive attitude and experience in the restaurant business that dates back to the late 1990s, Ansley decided to do what others weren’t able to do. He opened his third restaurant, Jack’s Local Station, in the Braselton area at the old gas station.
April 18, it’s having its one-year anniversary party starting at 11 a.m.

Once Ansley and his fiance, Hollie Hutchinson, got started with renovations on the property, they understood why others hadn’t done much to it. There was a lot to do, especially when it came to bringing the old gas station up to health code.

“When you try to convert an old gas station into a restaurant that’s health department approved, it’s a challenge,” Ansley said. “One of the lessons I’ve learned was I’ll never go into a location that had never been a restaurant before, because I’ve done that before. But this spot, I felt like it was perfect.”

So he went for it. There’s now a bar where the gas pumps once were. And inside there are now two separate dining rooms and a kitchen instead of car lifts and tools.

Local Station has a much different atmosphere than Ansley’s other restaurants. It’s a more relaxed, laid back atmosphere, which he said is good for dates, meetings and spending quality time with friends. It offers craft cocktails made with fresh ingredients and none of the pre-packaged mixers.

“The same thing is true for our kitchen,” Hutchinson said. “We don’t have a freezer, so everything is fresh.”

There’s a charcuterie board as an appetizer and fish tacos, turkey burgers, lobster roll, shrimp and grits or chicken caprese among many other entrees.

“It’s kind of take your time, don’t come here if you’re in a hurry,” Ansley said. “It’s not fast food.”

Local Station doesn’t offer highchairs or children’s menus, though. Ansley said it caught a lot of backlash for that in the beginning, but people have come to understand that’s not the atmosphere they want to create at Local Station. He wanted a place for adults to relax with a craft cocktail and a meal.

“One of the main complaints was we didn’t have highchairs for children,” Hutchinson said. “We’re not necessarily kid friendly, but we’re not anti-kid. Our space is so limited, we don’t have space to store highchairs. And then from that, it kind of has its own identity.”
Ansley and Hutchinson said they think Local Station is the “focal point” of what Braselton offers. As the city continues to grow, Local Station hopes to see more and more customers.

“Even though the location might be right, you’ve got to pair it with timing, concept and luck,” Ansley said. “And I think we had all of those.”

A new parking deck is being built across the street, and new crosswalks are being painted to encourage the walkability of the area. Parades pass right by the restaurant, and festivals take place in a grassy field within view.

“We wanted to be a part of the downtown,” Hutchinson said. “And Jack and I don’t necessarily plan anything. We just take the opportunity as it presents itself ... When this came open, Jack just said, ‘let’s do it.’”

After putting quite a bit more money into the business than he planned, Ansley got the place open with plenty of air conditioning units for the summers and top-of-the-line equipment for the kitchen.

Something simple Ansley added, but what he thinks may draw the most people to Local Station, is outdoor seating.

He said with Georgia weather, “there’s no reason not to be outside,” and he wants his customers to enjoy everything Braselton has to offer, especially in the shade of his restaurant’s patio.

“I like to be proud of what I do,” Ansley said. “I’m very competitive. I like to win and be the best, and so I really have a hard time not doing what’s best and what’s right for people.”

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