Magee opened The Station at 19E on Dec. 8, less than a half-mile from the Appalachian Trail’s crossing over U.S. Highway 19E in Roan Mountain.
“Being .3 miles from the Trail, (we’ve got) three things hikers really want. They want transportation to town. They want beer and they want a place to sleep,” Magee said.
Although his business is still undergoing renovations, Magee plans to transform the second story of the former antiques store into a hostel with 25 to 30 bunk beds, which he hopes to have open by springtime.
“We’ve had to put in the walk-in cooler, and we had to do a renovation downstairs. The upstairs still needs to be renovated and the back area, as well, but the basic bar and pub area is open,” he said.
Serving as the small community’s only pub, The Station offers live music on weekends, a cozy fireplace and televisions.
“Right now, we’ve got hot dogs, chili or gumbo. We haven’t renovated our food prep area, yet. So eventually, we’ll have paninis and deli sandwiches,” Magee said.
Many thru-hikers visiting The Station will likely try their first taste of beer brewed in Northeast Tennessee: Magee currently serves JRH Brewing Company, Bristol Brewing Company and Yee-Haw Brewing on tap.
“We’ve got a ‘pay it forward’ board. So you can buy someone a drink, put their name on the board and they can come in and collect it. It’s more relevant with hikers because they get ahead of people. They can buy a drink for their buddy and then hike in and get their drink.”
Since The Station is just a stone’s throw away from the North Carolina border, Magee said he is also thinking about adding a visitor’s center for tourists and a small outfitter store.
On the opposite side of Roan Mountain is Magee’s other business, Doe River Hiker Rest, at 275 Old Railroad Grade Road.
Situated on a 20-acre Christmas tree farm, Magee said Doe River Hiker Rest is also a hostel with private rooms for hikers to rent.
To learn more about The Station or Doe River Hiker Rest, visit https://thestationat19e.com/.
Email Zach Vance at [email protected] Follow Zach Vance on Twitter at @ZachVanceJCP. Like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/ZachVanceJCP.