By Jill Fox
Dining car nachos and a yardmaster burger grace the sample menu for the new railroad-themed craft brewery, fulfilling a long-time dream for Parkland couple Ralph and Veronica Rapa.
The well-traveled pair, who enjoy seeking out craft breweries on their adventures, always wanted to open one themselves.
With market research, a business plan, and the perfect location, they believe they are on track to open their family business in Parkland.
Residents since 2009, Veronica, a psychologist, and Ralph, a railroad manager, are hoping to open Rule G Brewing Company within walking distance of their home in Parkland Terraces.
Not only that, the co-owners and couple chose a location that was well-trafficked and easily accessible in the Riverstone Shoppes, near Japango and Malbec Grill, in the 2200 square foot space formerly occupied by Parkland International Music Academy.
“Rule G is the rule on the railroad that says you can’t be intoxicated on duty,” said Ralph, currently a manager with Brightline.
Their brewmaster is also a locomotive engineer who’s also been an avid hobby brewer for 11 years.
With an extensive career in railroading, the rustic atmosphere is important to Ralph, who plans to develop a beer garden in the rear of the building while hosting comedy, trivia, and open mic nights. The Rapas want to make their establishment family and dog-friendly, with live music and great food.
“It’s the type of place anyone can come to relax, have a beer, have something to eat. There’s no such thing in Parkland,” said Ralph. “It’s an ‘untapped’ market.”
Hoping Rule G Brewing Company is up and running in time for Oktoberfest, the city commission says not to get ‘hopped’ up too fast. Well, not in those exact words.
Although the brewing equipment is on order, there is no current way for the owners to apply for city permitting. According to Vice Mayor Bob Mayersohn, the code reads that if a category of business is not permitted, it’s prohibited.
Nothing has been approved yet. But Mayor Rich Walker said they are heading towards a vehicle where Ralph can present his plans to the city.
“Hopefully, we will have an ordinance to discuss at the next city commission meeting,” said Walker, who is also looking to evaluate the code to make sure it’s in line with what the residents want.
“I can see this would fill a gap in the Parkland area,” said Ralph. “I’ve been on the railroad for a while, and I want to do something I enjoy that’s fun.”
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