Teffy Beard has been engineering the success of the Railshake since the renovated bar and grill in Highland relaunched several years ago. Now she owns the depot, too.
“I opened the restaurant Sept. 25, 2013 for the previous owner. I was the general manager. About six months into that, we decided to start the buying process, and here I am.”
Though owning the business in name for a while, Teffy and her husband, Brian, just recently inked a deal to also buy the iconic building that’s stood between Walnut Street and Fifth Street since 1856.
Beard is no stranger when it comes to the restaurant business. She’s been doing this for 18 years, experience that has helped her put the Railshake on the fast track to success.
“This is my dream,” Beard said. “I literally sit in my car when I pull up and thank God every day that I get to do this.”
Not that it’s easy.
“The biggest challenge is the time it takes to put into it,” she said. “You’re completely married to your business, and it never stops, especially when you’re open seven days a week. Even if I leave, it’s not over.”
So, in order to keep things chugging, Beard knew that surrounding herself with others who shared similar tastes, work ethic and desire was the ticket to success. She needed a good conductor. She tapped Casey Driemeyer.
“Teffy and I have been best friends since the fourth grade, and I’ve been in the industry as long as she has,” said Driemeyer, Railshake’s general manager. “When she was given an opportunity to officially take the business over, she and I had already been leaning on each other quite a bit.”
Beard called Driemeyer because, like her, she has had nearly two decades of restaurant and management experience.
“I’ve helped manage other establishments in town. I ended up helping her out when she officially took over,” Driemeyer said.
But the two realized they’d need more help if they wanted to keep Railshake on the right track. That’s when they brought Tricia Stock aboard as assistant manager and Bridget Voegele as cook and kitchen manager to keep the business chugging along.
“My family owned a business in Highland, and I worked there through college. I came to Teffy about a year and a half ago and told her if she ever needed help to let me know,” Stock said. “She did, and here I am.”
Voegele was added to the team after dining at the restaurant one night.
“I ended up here, because I previously owned a business, but sold it. I’ve been in the restaurant business for 26 years, but I was ready for a break,” she said. “Like Teffy said, when you own a business, you’re married to it. I was tired of being married to it. I came in here and had dinner one night and next thing you know, I’m working here.”
Besides creating a great place to dine and have fun, the quartet are also making a bit of history.
“We are double-checking this at the library, but we are pretty sure this is the first time in the building’s history that everything has been owned and run exclusively by women,” Driemeyer said.
Each day, they come in with positive attitudes and unify under a single goal: making Railshake better today than it was yesterday. The formula is simple.
No. 1: Good food.
“I tried Cajun-Creole, and that flew,” Beard said.
No. 2: Good drink.
“We have a top-of-the-line draft system here and 18 different taps,” she said. “And we are usually the first one to have a new beer here. People say we have awesome beers.”
And, most importantly, No. 3: Good people. All three boxes have been checked.
“I had a very good vibe and feeling about this place,” Voegele said. “It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made, to work here.”