By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The staff members at the West Edge Collective marketing agency in Cheyenne get questions weekly about what their building is.
Regularly, someone wanders in to tell them the building would make a great bar, coffee shop or restaurant.
So the owners decided to go for all three.
The building is eye-catching, showcasing a large mural of what appears to be a cat crossed with an alien that draws people to it daily. It’s made of reclaimed bridge girders from train bridges across Wyoming, with boxcar flooring and other homages to the Equality State hidden throughout the building.
After hearing so many suggestions on what the building could be, West Edge’s Managing Director Chad Willett, along with his partners Juan Coronado and Seth Stefanik, got an idea.
“This is around a 5,500 to 6,000-square foot building,” Willett told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday. “We think it’s got a really groovy vibe and groovy location. But it’s seen as underutilized in a lot of ways, so we saw a great opportunity to fuse some brands together and create this attraction for tourists, as well as a destination for the local economy.”
The idea? West Edge moves out of its building to allow the creation of The Railspur: a family-friendly business by day — complete with a coffee bistro and a roving cavalcade of food trucks stationed on the grounds — and a bar by night.
The intent is to keep the Railspur open from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, providing something for everyone who might pass by, including live music.
“For a lot of years, there’s been a declining entertainment atmosphere in Cheyenne, and we think we can revitalize that,” Willett said. “We think this location pays homage to the train and railroad heritage, but also has a contemporary vibe that people will want to go to.”
Not only will it be a spot for Cheyenne locals to hit up regularly, but Willett, Coronado and Stefanik believe it will draw tourists from elsewhere in Wyoming and from out-of-state while creating at least 20 jobs for the city.
At the end of January, the West Edge Collective and Micro Pop-Up Concepts, a food truck and catering company, submitted an application for a retail liquor license to the Cheyenne City Council.
If awarded the license, a decision expected in late February or early March, The Railspur team can continue the plan of opening this new event destination to the public by the end of the year.
If not, then the cool but underutilized building will go on being home to West Edge.
The Railspur team is asking both Cheyenne locals and anyone interested in the concept to “high five” them through their website, which will give them the ability to show the Cheyenne City Council quantifiable evidence that the project has support.
Willett also hopes their pursuit of a liquor license will spark conversations about the way retail licenses are awarded in the state.
“We’re going for Old West values,” he said. “There’s opportunity abound and it’s the chance to grow something cool that people want to be a part of.”