The Railyard, an outdoor food venue based around shipping containers, is expected to open within 30 days. The property is just north of the newly constructed overpass on South Sixth Street, part of the Springfield Rail Improvements Projects.
Initially announced in 2021, there have been some adjustments to the original plans. “We were planning on using the 5 Flavors Catering kitchen, but were unable to do so once the business was sold,” said owner Kirk Jefferis, a commercial real estate developer who owns the property at 2242 S. Sixth St. where The Railyard will be located, along with several buildings to the north.
“We ended up building our own commercial kitchen in one of my buildings about a block away,” said Jefferis. “The barbecue meats and the Ramen noodles will be cooked on-site, but broths, sides and other dishes will be prepared in the kitchen.”
Jefferis has teamed up with Dave Matthews, a California transplant with a variety of business venture experiences. Matthews currently operates El Taco Guapo at Lake Springfield Marina and was previously involved in 5 Flavors Catering, Finley’s Tap House and Cooper’s Hawk Winery.
A fire in 2020 destroyed all but one of the buildings on the site, which has now been remodeled as a café with coffee, pastries, sandwiches and ice cream. The building will provide a limited amount of indoor seating, plus restrooms. Outside, four shipping containers will provide a variety of food options.
“One of the shipping containers will be a taqueria, with a menu similar to El Taco Guapo,” said Jefferis. “One will feature Texas-style barbeque. One will have Japanese options with Ramen bowls, sushi and pot stickers.”
The fourth container will be a patio bar offering beer and wine, along with margaritas.
Jefferis said that the goal is to be open by the first week of October, pending final inspections.