MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Lewis Mashburn prepared for another day at the Capitol Oyster Bar, oysters ready to be cracked open and ready to welcome the lunch time crowd. But Mashburn is also busy these days laying the ground work for an expansion on five acres near the diner.
“We got enough space there for about 30 RV patrons to join us," Mashburn said.
And there’s more. Mashburn wants to haul in an old Amtrak train car and place it between the new park and the restaurant.
“Since the car was built in ’49, I’d like to say take it from the early 1950s and put a kitchen in it," he said of his plans.
While Montgomery city leaders are taking a breather for now in expanding the riverfront, Mashburn’s project is only a half-mile upstream. He realizes now he’s losing money with all the conventions and conferences pouring into the capital city in recent years. He sees his venture as an added bonus to the riverfront and downtown businesses; more visitors with more money to spend.
“You rent a boat and go downtown and enjoy good music at the oyster bar,” he said.
The entire project, including the train car, will cost in the neighbor of three-quarters of a million dollars. Mashburn says it’s time.
“And the guy from the Chamber told me there are people looking for RV parks," he said.
Mashburn anticipates work to begin in the first quarter of 2019 with RVers making themselves at home by late spring or early summer. He says he’s making very good progress in getting all the necessary permits needed to begin his venture.