SOLDOTNA, Alaska — An Alaska woman is planning to transform two train cars into two different businesses.
Train enthusiast Mary Krull purchased two rail cars and will have them refurbished over the next year and will turn them into a coffee house and a beer and wine bar mixed with a restaurant.
“I love (trains),” Krull said. “I love the nostalgia primarily and I love seeing things from a bygone era that normally would not get saved. So a lot of this is about saving a piece of history and a lot of it is about repurposing something into something else and giving it a second life.”
The Soldotna area resident, who has been enamored with locomotives for years, said gallery coach 602, a double-decker rail car built in 1954, will hopefully be turned into “Brew at 602” by Christmas or early next year.
The 602 car was retired by Alaska Railroad in 2002 and has been sitting unused in a Homer boat yard for several years.
Building Official Ralph Linn has been working with Krull to get 602 into code compliance. Krull and Linn said in all their research on repurposed rail cars, they couldn’t find any example of someone upgrading a double decker like they’re doing, the Peninsula Clarion reported (http://bit.ly/2sTVG92 ).
Krull said the 602 rail car will be attached to a replica of a depot that will house an art gallery and gift shop.
Krull’s plan for her second rail car, Addie Camp, is to turn it into a beer and wine bar serving food.
She said she plans to serve primarily Alaskan beers, premium wines by the glass and small plates.
“I was trying to fill a niche,” Krull said. “I was trying to open something in Soldotna that we don’t have, something unique, something different.”
Addie Camp, was built in 1913 and was shipped from South Dakota where it was taken out of service in 2008.
Krull is focusing on the Brew at 602 project first, and will address Addie Camp later, she said. She estimates the bar and restaurant could be open sometime in 2018.