MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — 12 News is highlighting veteran-owned businesses like Sabraton Station in Morgantown to recognize National Veterans Small Business Week.
The establishment on Deckers Creek Boulevard is co-owned by Craig Wolfe and his brother-in-law Dustin Barnes. Wolfe is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, having served from 1993 to 1997. Describing his time in the marines, Wolfe said that “it changes you. It makes you grow up pretty quick.”
Sabraton Station is a family-owned business, and Wolfe said that he “was always interested in it,” so the pair took it over 12 years ago. The restaurant was first established in 1990 under the name “Archie’s.”
Barnes had already been involved in the restaurant industry and is one of the owners of The Lake House Restaurant. Wolfe said the business was “something we always kind of wanted to do.” Although Barnes isn’t a veteran himself, Wolfe attributed a lot of the businesses success to him, saying “he’s my right hand.”
According to Wolfe, the restaurant is a place for people in the local community to come by and watch football and basketball games. He described it as “just a local place for people to come and hang out, everybody kind of knows each other.”
“We’ve had the same—a lot of the same food for a very long time, so they know what they’re getting whenever they come in here,” Wolfe added. He said that Barnes’ family developed the menu, which is mostly comprised of bar food, many years ago, but the two have made some slight adjustments over the years to keep things fresh.
“Wings is our biggest seller by a mile,” according to Wolfe. “We’ve won a lot of wing contests in the past.”
There are many decorations set up throughout the restaurant, including flags and signs representing different branches of the armed forces. “We’re veteran-proud here. We fly our flags; we fly our signs,” Wolfe stated.
Sabraton Station also offers discounts to veterans whenever they come by. Wolfe said that “we respect the Marines, we respect all of the armed forces, and we like them whenever they come in.”
“It’s important to me, obviously, because I served, but my family served as well,” Wolfe said. He stated that his father was a Marine as well and that many of his family members are “service-oriented,” with there being a lot of police officers in his family.
By dedicating four years to the service, he feels that he developed core skills that have helped him to effectively run this restaurant and keep his staff happy. “It teaches [you] to be a leader, and how to lead people and how to get the most out of people, and I think we do that here.”
Wolfe said the restaurant’s current staff to be “pretty tight” with each other. He said despite the heavy turnover that’s typically associated with the restaurant business, Sabraton Station has been “pretty lucky when it comes to that.”
“We treat our staff pretty well, so they stay around. So, I think that’s a big difference of just kind of learning how to lead people and how to get the most out of them.”