For the last year and a half, my wife, Liz, and I have been pouring our lives into creating a railroading “destination” in Atlanta, Indiana. We are committed to creating family activities and experiences, and using our knowledge of model railroading and railroading history as the theme.
Most recently, we have partnered with several talented individuals, plus Hamilton County Tourism, to bring about the Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad. The railroad will commence excursion and theme train rides out of Atlanta this fall. The train is going to market under the name Nickel Plate Express and you can find and like their Facebook page here.
All this new activity in Atlanta has been exciting – and we are about to go from a hundred or so guests every Saturday to a thousand or so, every weekend.
Liz and I have started a new project to open and operate a diner in Atlanta as there is no family orientated place to eat breakfast or lunch anywhere near Atlanta. The diner is to be called The Choo Choo Café, and will be located at 185 West Main Street in Atlanta. We have already purchased the building and begun renovations, but we need help completing the project on time. No bank will loan money to start a restaurant. We are publicly announcing our plan to open the Café by September 1st and starting this campaign to help us make the date.
Once complete, The Choo Choo Café will be opened on the historic Nickel Plate Railroad tracks in downtown Atlanta, Indiana, sharing Main Street with The Atlanta Music Hall, MrMuffin’sTrains two locations and our resident artists from Nickel Plate Arts. It will be designed with a rural feel, celebrating our railroad history, and provide hearty meals and refreshing snacks to our local community and our many guests. The space will be warm and welcoming, and include railroad photographs and local art and crafts, featuring items from the artists at Nickel Plate Arts.
To date, all of our investment in Atlanta, Indiana, has come from our own resources, and we, candidly, are running out of money - could you please help us continue our dream of making Atlanta, Indiana a family orientated destination?
Risks and challenges
Atlanta, Indiana is approximately 42 miles to downtown Indianapolis, 20 minutes from Carmel, Indiana and about 15 minutes from Noblesville, Indiana. It's has a two block long downtown that straddles the Nickel Plate Railroad line. Once a year, in September, Atlanta hosts 90,000 people for the New Earth Festival.
Obviously, any small town restaurant has to rely on patronage from people that live beyond our local community. With over half a million people living within 30 miles, and with the guests we expect for The Nickel Plate Express excursion railroad coming this September and the existing visitors to MrMuffin'sTrains, we believe we will have the traffic.
We need to cook and serve great food - and I am confident we can do that - we just need a kitchen!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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