Less than a year after their abortive attempt to purchase the Rusty Nail  in Stowe, Blue Donkey Restaurant  owners Kim Kaufman and Jim Goldsmith will open a new restaurant named for its address, 10 Railroad Street, in Morrisville.
Why choose “Mo’ Vegas” for their next culinary venture? After the years-in-the-making deal to purchase the Rusty Nail went south, “We weren’t feeling very Stowe friendly,” Kaufman recalls. Then they discovered the bank-owned former train station that used to be Melben’s Restaurant.
“It seemed like a great opportunity — Morrisville really needs a restaurant, and that town couldn’t be more welcoming,” says Kaufman, who adds that she expects to be fully open by Columbus Day weekend. She hopes to share a preview with diners during Morrisville’s Oktoberfest in the first weekend in October.
Blue Donkey executive chef Kermit Melendez is concocting the menu for 10 Railroad Street, which Kaufman calls a “wayfarer’s tavern.” The chef’s fine-dining background will show on a “hunter’s board,” to boast game specials including pan-roasted birds and rabbit cassoulet.
For the less adventurous diner, there will be individual mac-and-cheese dishes, as well as small plates such as chicken skewers with cornbread, chicken wings and Thai curry mussels. Devotees of the Blue Donkey’s burger will no longer have to venture onto Mountain Road for a taste. The restaurant will start by serving dinner and eventually add lunch and Sunday brunch.
Kaufman is currently busy restoring 10 Railroad to resemble the former train station in its 19th-century heyday, she says, complete with wood floors and “a lot of steel.” The perfect place for what she describes as “food and drink for the hungry traveler.”
The original print version of this article was headlined "The Next Station"