One year since grand opening, Railyard businesses 'optimistic' f - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

One year since grand opening, Railyard businesses 'optimistic' for future

By: Lauren Fabrizi

A year ago, the Railyard in the Haymarket was a work in progress. But since then, it's bloomed into one of Lincoln's hot spots.

To celebrate the one-year anniversary, there will be a free Better Together Birthday Bash in August.

"We're so fortunate to have been embraced by Lincolnites everywhere," Tessa Warner of the Railyard said. "So we're going to have a free concert, we're going to launch a public Wi-Fi spot."

Restaurants like Buffalo Wings & Rings, Gate 25 and Mellow Mushroom are now considered seasoned veterans, since they've been there since the early days.

Warner said one business, Jack & June, is the only one to date to have had to close shop.

Most of the others agree a good portion of their revenue comes from both Husker football game and concert crowds.

"Being an event driven area certainly drives in business," Brandon Poppert of Mellow Mushroom said.

"It gives them a reason to come down," Kevin Drought of Longwell's added.

Most managers said the hardest part is adapting to when there isn't something going on.

"Finding a target group market I think is one of the biggest challenges," Poppert said.

Added Drought: "We still have to deliver with our product and our service to make them want to come back."

Drought is hoping there will be some alterations in the future to help all the businesses draw in more crowds on those off days, including closing off the street and airing more sporting events on the Cube.

Poppert is optimistic, saying in the past few months, he's started to see a more regular crowd on weekdays, and he's hoping it'll stay that way.

"Continue to be a place were people think of us beyond just concerts and football games," he said. "That people think of us as a place to come enjoy themselves with family."

The one-year anniversary celebration will be August 9 beginning at 5 p.m. with a concert after 7 p.m. Canopy Street from R to Q Streets will be closed off. Alcohol can be consumed both in and outside anywhere within that area. Admission is free.

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