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The Fayetteville Observer

Fayetteville native plans to bring food hall, beer garden and entertainment venue downtown

By Taylor Shook, Fayetteville Observer,


Imagine a dozen locally owned eateries, offering flavors from around the world, converging in a food hall where family and friends gather to dine, sip craft beer and enjoy live entertainment.

This is the vision that John Kistler has for Railyard FVL , a proposed open-air, two-story dining destination in downtown Fayetteville.

Kistler, 42, a Fayetteville native and active-duty Army soldier, said that the project, which is still in the planning stages, was inspired by a visit to the Gather GVL food hall in Greenville, South Carolina.

“It’s something that many cities smaller than Fayetteville have,” he said.

Now in negotiations with the owner of the site, which is yet to be announced, Kistler said that he expects to open in about a year.

His plan is for each food vendor to operate out of a modified shipping container, which will be assembled off-site then dropped onto the property.

Kistler wants at least two of the small eateries to be permanent outposts of well-established Fayetteville restaurants, he said, while he plans to also offer affordable short-term leases for up-and-coming food entrepreneurs or restauranteurs testing new culinary concepts.

No two restaurants will have the same cuisine.

“I might want a hamburger, but my wife might want some seafood,” Kistler said. “We can go our separate ways and come together to dine."

The goal is for Railyard FVL to offer an array of alcoholic libations. A self-pour beer wall will host 40 local and regional craft beers, he said. Not a beer drinker? You will still be able to get your buzz on at the wine cafe or the cocktail bar. All three bars at the venue are expected to be owned and operated by Railyard, Kistler said.

People will enjoy their food and drinks at indoor or outdoor seating areas, which will be centered around a stage that might host such entertainment as comedy nights, theatre, poetry slams and talent shows. Movie nights will bring family-friendly films to a large projector screen.

You won’t even have to leave Fido at home.

“We love our dogs and want people to be able to bring them,” Kistler said.

Business hours are expected to be from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., he said, but some vendors may be open earlier. For instance, he hopes to build a drive-thru coffee shop at the property.

Railyard FVL, Kistler said, with its eclectic and urban feel, will serve as a community gathering place.

"Fayetteville needs this, and we need it right now,” he said.

Vendors can contact Kistler at

Food, dining and culture reporter Taylor Shook can be reached at , on Twitter , or Facebook . Want weekly food news delivered to your inbox? Sign up for the Fayetteville Foodies newsletter .

This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: Fayetteville native plans to bring food hall, beer garden and entertainment venue downtown

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