Farmstead 303 Transitioning to New Concept “Rail Kitchen & Bar”

I’ve received two separate reports of this so far today, so I feel comfortable reporting it.  Both Nittany313 and Gretchen write in that the “Farmstead 303” signs at the Decatur Depot are being taken down and replaced with “Rail Kitchen & Bar”.

Nittany added that she followed up with staff at Feast – which is under the same ownership as Farmstead – and they said that the same ownership remains, it’s just a new concept.

I followed up with ownership this morning via email for more details on this new name and concept, but have yet to hear back.  More info as I have it.

22 thoughts on “Farmstead 303 Transitioning to New Concept “Rail Kitchen & Bar””

  1. Ths is true. Teri Rogers confirmed it and made an announcement at the DBA Meeting Tuesday. She is planning to keep some of the most popular dishes from Farmstead 303.

  2. We ate at FEAST last night and asked about the change over at Farmstead. The bartender said the menu was going more affordable and include unique sandwiches and salads and keep some items from the Farmhouse menu.

  3. Well it can’t be a bad thing…FH 303 was starting to slide in the wrong direction in 2011. Ate there twice, the last time we really regretted it…long waits with only 4 tables occupied, food (once it got to us) not as described on the menu…so looking forward to the change.

  4. I am a big fan of Feast and was concerned from day one about the competing establishments going after the same market.

    My first choice would have been a slightly upscale version of Our Way with a buffet line — for people who simply need to feed their families with quality and value — and lose the wait staff.

    My second choice would have been a live music scene (bluegrass, cajun, etc.) Check out Twains on jazz Tuesdays, it’s amazing.

    1. I am happy to announce that I am still the owner of Feast and Rail (formerly Farmstead 303). It is unfortunate that there are those that might not want me to succeed. However, after celebrating 6 years running at Feast, I feel positive in the success of my new venture.
      I have put my heart and soul into this new concept and feel really good about it. I have received nothing but great praise about both the service and food since the changeover.
      I do hope that all of Decatur will support me for I strive everyday to put out not only a great product but great service as well.
      My first mistake at Farmstead was relying on a chef and a GM to represent me and to fulfill my vision. Instead it resulted in so much negative energy that I decided to rename it and make the menu lighter and more appealing to all palattes.
      Additionally, you shall see my smiling face there more often than before. I now consider myself the chef and the GM and plan to ensure that each one of my customers have an awesome experience.
      We are also hosting several music and entertainment events. This Wednesday will begin our weekly “Open Mic” night. We already have several local and well known musicians stopping by to sing a few songs. I hope to entice some of the old singer/songwriters from back in the Freight Room days to stop by and play a tune or two.
      Each and every Friday night we have Karaoke beginning at 9:30 and carrying on until 2 or so.
      This Saturday features Olde Dog! The last time they played it was standing room only. I plan to showcase them in the main dining room after the dinner crowd with a $10 cover. I promise you will simply LOVE them or I will personally give you your $10 back.
      I am in the process of redoing my website so bare with me. However, you can view the menu and upcoming events on the old one.

      I look forward to all of you giving me a second chance and hopefully you will post great reviews of me and my efforts in the near future.

      Support your local restaurants. Eat out often!

  5. I don’t mind a steeper price point if the quality of the food and service warrant it. But in our two experiences at Farmstead 303, they did not.

    1. Same here. Both times — brunch and dinner — the food was not delicious and the price was far to high.

  6. The Fifth Earl was so unpretentious and comfortable. I wonder if we could start a petition drive to get those guys back…?

  7. I guess I’m in the minority, but my wife and I loved Farmstead each time we went there in the past year. Sad to see it’s changing, but hope the new concept does well.

  8. As far as Farmstead 303, we had a delightful meal with a great server. I’m not surprised by a change in direction and am looking forward to checking out the new venture.

    But why do these restaurant conversations always have to revert to praising the Fifth Earl? I don’t see what the big deal was…

    1. I’m with you on the Fifth Earl, FH. I had a very good Cuban sandwich there once, but jeez, it was expensive. I never went back because I just couldn’t justify spending so much money for a single meal.

      Does that make me cheap? Maybe, but Dave Ramsey would approve. 🙂

    2. I too think the 5th earl was nothing special. Too often a sandwich shop trys to be too fancy, I grew up with sandwich shops in the Northeast and it was good deli meats, great bread, a half sour pickle and great homemade soups and salads. KEEP it SIMPLE – Dave Ramsey rules!

    3. I’ll 4th it. I also never understood the 5th Earl lovefest, and I’m no Dave Ramsey scrooge either 😉 I

      f I get the hankering and want to spend $10-$15 on a sandwich and side, I’m going to Sun in My Belly or Alon’s.

      Now damn all y’all to hell for bringing this up. I’m so going to piss off the woman by spending $15+ for lunch on a garlic roasted lamb sandwich in the Highlands!

  9. The building is a tough nut to make work. It is large and expensive. With Fine Dining you cannot get enough people, and it would cannibalize FEAST anyway. Farmstead was in kind of a “no man’s land” between Fine Dining and Applebys. I have a friend from Chicago who says there is a large pizza restaurant there which is very succesful, but the nearby FELLINIS here can operate more efficiently. The large space could accomodate a dancing/nightclub place, but good luck on making that pay. Maybe the City of Decatur should buy or lease it and find some public use for it that doesn’t conflict with FEAST.

  10. I’m bummed the ownership is not changing, because the food was absolutely terrible the one and only time we visited (dry/burned fried chicken, literally inedible mac and cheese–how do you do THAT?!–chocolate cake not worth the caloric intake). I had an okay experience at Feast, though, so I’ll give the new place a try.

  11. I agree. I wish the owners would change. Farmstead service was slow and disorganized. I enjoyed the food, but would not return due to lousy, inattentive service. Twice!

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