Owners Dan and Deb Creighton created an eatery with an extensive menu and festive ambiance

Published in the Oct. 2-15, 2013 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Marty Cheek

Downtown Morgan Hill’s Huntington Station Restaurant and Sports Pub evolved from the idea by owners Dan and Deb Creighton that parents should have a kid-friendly place to bring children to enjoy a quality meal after games. Their eatery on the Third Street Promenade opened in 2010 and is known locally for its extensive menu selection and festive ambiance.

From left to right, Kristen Levario, Shari Shepard, Dan Creighton, Deb Creighton and chef Robert Jiminez

From left to right, Kristen Levario, Shari Shepard, Dan Creighton, Deb Creighton and chef Robert Jiminez

“For years, our kids played Little League and wrestling and Pop Warner Football and four nights a week we were eating at the Snack Shack or at the all-you-can-eat salad bar,” Deb recalls. “It was horrible. We’re in our 30s and 40s and we got to a point where we said ‘I’m not eating another hot dog or some nachos with some fake cheese on it.’”

The Creightons concluded there was a market for a family-friendly restaurant where customers could come in wearing baseball cleats and flip-flops and feel comfortable ordering quality food such as a good salad for mom, a steak for dad and pizza for the kids, all served with style on a table with a clean cloth. Living in San Jose, they decided to start their own sports bar restaurant, an eatery called Glory Days on Monterey Road in downtown Morgan Hill.

“We had no plans for Morgan Hill,” Deb said. “It’s just that’s where we found the real estate. So we started working on it.”

Glory Days did well and the Creightons considered expanding into what was then Poppy’s Fish and Poultry Restaurant located in the old Morgan Hill Times building on Third Street. They saw an opportunity to build up the restaurant’s side patio area into an outdoor dining experience for customers. At the same time, they received a notice from lawyers working for an east coast sports restaurant chain.

“We got a cease and desist order from a corporation called Glory Days Grill, and they wanted us to stop using the name because they thought they were going to become the next Appleby’s chain,” Deb said. “After a few lengthy discussions with attorneys, we decided that if we were going to change our location anyway, we might as well change the name.”

The couple held a contest where customers submitted potential names for the newly-branded restaurant. “About 90 percent of them were lawsuits waiting to happen, like Homebase and Homeplate,” Deb said. “The other 10 percent went right in the vote pile. And finally someone came in and said, ‘Why don’t you use Huntington?’”

Dan and Deborah were driving to Lake Tahoe when they decided to use the original 19th century name of what would come to be known as the village of Morgan Hill.

“This place use to be called Huntington, but because Hiram Morgan Hill owned the whole area, people would say, ‘Take us to Morgan Hill’s Ranch,’ to the train conductor,” Dan explained the decision. “They finally changed the name to Morgan Hill. And Deb said, ‘Why don’t we name it Huntington Station because we’re right next to the train station?’”

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The restaurant has a quality bar and a selection of food for every taste. Many patrons rave about the steak salad as well as the burgers.

“It’s a nice friendly, family type of atmosphere here,” Dan said. “You can get a nice drink and a nice meal at a good price. It’s nice to be in the middle of something. We’re not a total sports bar, we’re not a total fancy restaurant, but we are in that mix right there.”

Huntington Station

Location: 30 E. Third St.
Hours: Monday-Wednesday, lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; dinner 5 to 9 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Sunday noon-8 p.m.
Contact: (408) 779-3376, or visit www.huntingtonstationsportspub.com

Marty Cheek

Marty Cheek

Publisher at Morgan Hill Life
Marty Cheek is the publisher of Morgan Hill Life and Gilroy Life. He is also the co-author with Congressman Jerry McNerney of the book Clean Energy Nation: Freeing America From the Tyranny of Fossil Fuels.
Email: marty@morganhilllife.com
Phone: (408) 782-7575
Marty Cheek