TRACY - Throughout the years the large building along U.S. Highway 14 in Tracy has had many names, but John Edwards, one of four new owners of the building, said they hope to capture the spirit of Tracy in their restaurant by naming it The Caboose.
"Tracy has always been a railroad town with its history," Edwards said.
Along with the new name comes new owners - a four-person mix of friends and family, with new ideas for the restaurant.
Photo by Phillip Bock
David Fiegen and his wife Diane, left, along with brothers John and Doug Edwards, recently opened The Caboose restaurant and banquet hall in Tracy. As part of renovations caboose paintings created by local artists adorn the walls of the restaurant.
The previous restaurant housed in the building, Shetek Bend, closed last winter. By June, John Edwards and his brother Doug, along with friends Diane and David Fiegen, took over the building and began renovations.
The kitchen was expanded with the addition of a char-broiler, flat grill and expanded frier line. A walk-in freezer and walk-in cooler were added to the back kitchen and the dish room was moved to its own room separate from the food preparation area.
"They have more volume so we can do bigger events and bigger parties," David Fiegen said.
The dance floor was refurbished, the whole building received a fresh coat of paint and new train-thremed artwork painted by local artists was added to the dining areas.
The building can hold large group events - such as banquets and wedding receptions - in a 400-seat banquet hall. A dining area with an additional 100-person capacity is separated from the banquet hall by a partition wall and can be opened up for large gatherings.
"We've already had a wedding for over 400," Diane Fiegen said. "There is a lot of interest."
The Caboose also has a bar and grill section of the restaurant with an additional 90-seat capacity.
When designing the menu Fiegen said they wanted it to be multi-faceted to match the different operations of the businesses. For the bar area they focused on having a wide selection of appetizers, and for the restaurant they designed a menu that had items unique to Tracy, such as steaks and broasted chicken.
"We wanted a few things on there that were unique to Tracy," John Edwards said. "No one else was doing broaster food."
The four partners all plan to be involved in the operations as the restaurant moves forward. Doug Edwards will be in charge of maintenance, the Fiegens will head the food and banquet operations, and John Edwards will act as host and fill in where needed.
"We're trying really hard to make everyone happy with our food and we have a facility just dying to be used," John Edwards said.
Regular hours will be from 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 4:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The Caboose will be closed Sundays and Mondays, except for special bookings.