GENEVA – The Boxcar Train Restaurant, 500 S. Third St., Geneva, was barely open for seven months before it closed in February, and now ShoDeen Management has it listed as available to rent.
The restaurant had a train theme, where food came out on a little train, chugging on a little track next to the booths, which was then served to customers.
The eatery opened last summer. Its four owners, who already owned local restaurants, said they wanted a family-friendly – but upscale – version of similarly-styled restaurants.
One of the owners, Matt Dieter, who owns Ray's Evergreen Tavern in St. Charles, had said last July that they wanted to have a restaurant that catered to families with young children, but with a better quality of food.
Neither Dieter nor the other owners returned messages seeking comment, but the restaurant's FaceBook page announced its closing in a Feb. 12 post.
"Attention boxcar passengers! We have had a wonderful journey and would like to take the time to thank you for riding along," states the post. "Unfortunately, our journey has come to an end. The boxcar is grateful to have had an opportunity to serve you and we look forward to seeing you out in the community."
ShoDeen Management commercial leasing agent Dan Meisinger said the space has been shown to eight prospective tenants, but none has decided to take it further.
"I truly do believe that particular spot and that [train] concept really would do well in Geneva and iI think Geneva would welcome it," Meisinger said. "There was a lot of positive feedback and a lot of people were very upset when they closed. It's a great space so close to train station with a fully built-out 3,500-square-foot restaurant."
Meisinger said he would prefer to see a restaurant in that spot featuring something Geneva does not already offer – if not a child-themed restaurant then perhaps barbecue or more French-inspired.
"We have reached out to train-themed restaurants and there has been some interest but no official offers," Meisinger said. "A kid-themed restaurant would be welcomed with open arms in Geneva."