Though their Railroader Restaurant vision did not persist into the 21st century, the Winters were onto something — they integrated locals’ appreciation for transportation history into a unique dining experience. As a part of the upcoming Redlands Public Market space, a historical renovation company known as Arteco Partners will restore and repurpose a 1908 Brill Trolley car to become a dining venue.
Teryn Henderson, a personal and project assistant at Arteco Partners, said while the trolley car originates from Lisbon, Portugal, its model is similar to the trolleys that once roamed Redlands.
Henderson outlined plans to restore the trolley through steel framing, wood reinforcement, repainting the yellow exterior and restoring the red seats and tables inside. Classic photographs of Redlands trolleys and history plaques will line the inner walls, Henderson said. The $15,000-$30,000 refurbishment is expected to commence in January 2020, with the help of a 2-3-person team of community woodworkers and artisans. Once finished, the trolley would sit in the outside plaza area of the MOD Packing House, welcoming groups of up to 16 with reservation for special dinners and gatherings.
The affinities between the Railroader Restaurant and the trolley refurbishment highlight a Redlands theme: appreciation for historically inspired dining ambience. Some things never change.