(All photos taken by me–copyright disclaimer)
So, as many of you probably know, Sarasota’s (Florida) history is interwoven with the history of the Ringlings and their notable circus, and even the history of circus in general. If you drive north of Sarasota, a little ways up the interstate, you’ll find the town of Gibsonton, which is where Scully and Mulder embark on an investigation at in the “Humbug” episode of The X-Files. (Trivia Note: I have seen The Jim Rose Circus perform live–great show!)
Anyway, a little off-the-beaten path (make sure you have good directions, especially if you’re not from here!) is a collection of railroad cars, including Jomar (John and Mable Ringling’s private railroad car), that are being restored to operating/original condition. Here’s the best part: one of the Pullman cars on the site has been refurbished and is the home to a dining establishment called “Bob’s Train”. Yes, you can eat in one of the cars, and owner/chef Bob Horne will also
talk your ears off regale you with fascinating stories about circus history, including his own experiences within the circus “family”. The train cars also double as a museum that houses Bob’s collection of circus memorabilia–photographs, flyers, artwork, and artifacts.
Here’s the restaurant’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Sarasota.Suncoast.Railroad, (it has better photos than mine, and also the menu offerings) and I’ve posted some other miscellaneous links for more information–let me know how you liked your dining adventure!
Additional info: http://bobstrain.blogspot.com/
Short Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HonA1WHwHGk
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