On top of the highest hill in Worthington there sits a bar with a great deal of history. In 1933 the town was quite different, but the opening of the Liston’s as an Esso station was no small event. Now, eighty nine years later, the transformation and reopening at that same location is once again sending ripples through the town. This new iteration is not blind to the past, but celebrates it instead.
The building that now stands on Liston’s well established foundation is a dichotomy of old and new. They have incorporated nostalgic artifacts throughout the interior, while opening and expanding on the footprint of what has been a joyous meeting place for many people for so long.
Liston’s new interior is beautiful and open, the design is sleek but thoughtful. The booths and tables, the very same that patrons have sat at for decades, are now sanded and polished to a state that is almost unrecognizable. The pool table has moved, but to its own room. No longer pushed aside or covered with chairs to make space, there’s always time for billiards in the back. The bar itself is a spacious wrap-around, polished hardwood top, with all the necessities contained behind and ample space for the tenders to work. Everything comes together in a way it never has before.
And yet all around the walls are the familiar photos of the past, still framed just as they have been. It’s easy for an acquainted viewer to get caught up looking around, this history is the history of the town, the people.
It’s the friendly faces of those who have passed on, it’s Fenway for the big game, and it’s the bar in all its glory. Liston’s has changed, but somehow it kept the parts that made it whole.
A dynamic pair of women now helm the bar, Jessie (Jessica Yarmey) and Bri (Brigid Ryan), took those pieces and put them back together, and have made it their own. For just over a year now they have worked long hours, tirelessly pouring themselves into this project.
And it shows. The vast difference could not be achieved without the herculean effort they both have made. An effort that requires a bit of insight, which they also have in spades. Some from working in the industry locally but mostly working right here at Liston’s. Jessie started working at the bar at the age of 19, so if you know Liston’s you’ve probably met her, and Bri has been there for years herself! Worthington is a small town, and being local means they know what makes Liston’s tick.
And they kept it local, using only local contractors, the cherry wood was milled in Goshen, all the way to the metal roofing used on the interior being sourced locally and dating back to 1935. They took everything they could use from the old building, but realistically only the physical footprint survives.
But with change comes resilience, they are looking ahead to the 90 year anniversary in 2023, and then onto the 100 year after that. This new building was meant to last, the kitchen is a bright beacon of shining new steel, new stoves and equipment, the walls have new TVs, the yard a new fence! And that yard is practically a new feature in itself, permits allow drinks within the new fence and there is plenty of space for music and parties. They are already setting their eyes on the old barn, with thoughts of renovation into dedicated event space.
As for their offerings, they are open Wednesday – Sunday from 11am – 9pm. With weekly specials, shareable apps, burgers, sandwiches, salads, fresh wings (which have been a hit already), fish and chips, and even steak or salmon for those special meals. The menu includes vegetarian and vegan, as well as gluten free options. They’ve got 8 beers on tap, from local BBC seasonals to Bud Lite. They have Sunday brunch plans and music nights already under their belt.
Haven’t seen the new building? Stop over for a drink, bring the family for dinner, or just grab a friend for a few rounds of pool.
Jessie and Bri have put together an incredible resource on top of the hill, and they plan to keep the doors open for all to enjoy.