I had a good feeling about The Sports Station Bar & Grill before going in the door, just based on the homemade sign out front, that was leaning curiously. And it did not disappoint.
The Sports Station Bar & Grill earned high marks as a dive bar. It had Busch on tap, a lousy beer if there ever was one, unless you are drinking in St. Louis (I've done that, and even in St. Louis I'd call it marginal). There was a bar know-it-all, a guy in overalls looking like he just rolled in from a Dexy's Midnight Runners tryout, who insisted to anyone listening that the brunette in Just Shoot Me was the same brunette that wowed us in Full House. Nothing like intelligent conversation over a pitcher of Busch to set young minds along the path of enlightenment. It's not the same brunette, by the way. The Station also provided questionable entertainment: One of the TVs over the bar was playing a rousing episode of How Stuff Works, where we learned how to put together an engine, no doubt to further the atmosphere of the Station as a place of learning. I've never been to a bar before where educational programs were considered to be a good choice for the barroom TVs, though I did catch some cartoons at The Silver Fox one morning, an interesting choice. If you tired of learning, you could turn your eyes to the other TV, which was broadcasting closed circuit video shots of the parking lot. Not much of a confidence booster in the neighborhood, though it beats going outside every half hour to make sure your car has not been stolen. Finally, the coup-de-grace could be found in the restroom, though I assume only in the men's restroom (sorry ladies). Trough urinals - a little touch of class that makes the bar patrons feel like family.
I am a firm believer that running a dive bar takes leadership. Matt and I saw a first hand example when we ran into the owner of The Station toward the end of the night. He had actually been there as long as we had, but was doing his best impression of the guy getting plowed by himself in the corner of the bar (a character you'll find in most dive bars). 'As long as there's people here drinkin, I'll keep the bar open,' the bar owner Brett told Matt and I when we asked when the bar closed. It was not until later that I realized that he had imparted on us a dive bar pearl of wisdom: Concentrate on the drink, let everything else go to pot, and a dive bar is born.
I don't think the arrow actually points to the front door.
The Sports Station Bar & Grill is located at 850 Dayton on the west side of Aurora. It is open 24 hours a day, as long as you're drinkin.