I also stained and finished the service counter:
I used a pretty dark stain, sanded some of it off to get this interesting grain effect, then finished it with six coats of polyurethane. The combination of the finish and the dents, gouges and wear the wood had to begin with (an old doug fir 2x8, by the way, for those of you who keep track of such things) gives it a nice patina, I think:
I also got a lot of caulking done around the trim. I'm about halfway done with that. Most significantly, though, my exhaust hood and fan arrived this week. Those will get installed next weekend...
Definitely looking forward to having those in place. Stay tuned!