Juan Coronado: Cheyenne Trailblazer

In the West Edge district of Cheyenne, the Railspur has been making waves in the culinary and cultural scene. Chef Owners Juan Coronado and Seth Stefanik are the visionaries behind this innovative hotspot. With a scrappy spirit and a commitment to evolving Cheyenne's cultural landscape, the duo has seen Railspur quickly become a favorite establishment for coffee, food, and drinks.

A Fusion of Culinary Delights and Entertainment

The Railspur offers an intriguing balance of imperfection and ambition. It's a place where traditional meets modern, creating a diverse atmosphere that welcomes patrons from all walks of life.

Coronado went to culinary school in Denver, where he started his career. Soon, an opportunity came to open the Metropolitan downtown Cheyenne. Before Railspur, Stefanik and Coronado opened the Los Conejos food truck and micro pop-up concepts before the building became available where an actual railroad spur for the military department used to be.

After landing a coveted liquor license, Coronado and his partners developed Railspur to embody both the entrepreneurial spirit that earned Cheyenne its nickname —" Magic City of the Plains" — and the "roll up your sleeves and let's make it happen" mentality that's spurring growth in the West Edge district today.

"Usually, restaurants take about 2 to 3 years to come to fruition, and we had to do it in six months. So there's been a lot of learning and adjusting as we go, but it's been a great experience," said Coronado. "When you walk in the Railspur, you're welcomed by large beams and open spaces. A lot of our materials here are recycled, giving it an urban street-style decor and vibes."

The unique business model of the Railspur spans morning coffee service with a full espresso bar to a food truck eatery serving delicious bar-type foods for lunch and dinner (the birria tacos are a fan favorite) to the nightly transformation into a lively nightclub featuring live music and DJs. Juan describes the venue as a "fun coffee eatery bar with nightlife attached to it," catering to early risers in the morning and late-night enthusiasts after 9 p.m. on weekends.

A Welcoming Atmosphere

The diverse entertainment options at Railspur contribute to its appeal. From reggae nights to live DJ performances, the venue opens its doors to local musicians and artists, providing a platform for them to showcase their talent. Moreover, Coronado and Stefanik are dedicated to creating a welcoming atmosphere for everyone. Like many other places, Cheyenne has its own stereotypes, often associated with Western themes. However, Railspur challenges these preconceived notions by offering an industrial feel with a younger, more modern vibe to appeal to all walks of life.

The establishment's commitment to inclusivity is evident through the various events it hosts, such as an equality gala, a pride after-party, and a symphony after-hours event. They also provide the community with places to host pop-ups for locals to offer everything from homemade candles to fine art for sale. These gatherings bring together different groups and foster a sense of unity within the community.

"The stereotype of Cheyenne is that everything is cowboy Western, and although we love that, we want to provide a place for everyone," said Coronado.

The Trailblazer Spirit

Coronado, Stefink, and their team are contributing to the city's growth and evolution by redefining the culinary and cultural landscape. They are not only enriching Cheyenne's entertainment options but also inspiring a new generation of culinary artists and entrepreneurs.

That's evident in their location at the West Edge just outside the center part of downtown that was once blighted. The partners have seen the area evolve, with a children's museum coming soon and a new brewery that opened down the road aptly named Westby Edge Brewing.

"We've worked hard to develop this area, and this building we're in was one of the efforts to start developing the West Edge," said Coronado. "We're pulling the crowds down Lincoln Way. We have a patio where people can sit outside and watch the Union Pacific trains go by, which is a pretty neat experience with the graffiti that goes by on those trains, and we really enjoy that."

Coronado is expanding Cheyenne's culinary scene by educating the next generation. He was accepted into the Poder Academy Board of Trustees, a charter school in Cheyenne, to pay it forward. "

"Teachers pushed me to pursue culinary arts in high school," he said. "Now I am involved in the younger education system, and I love to see some young kids grow into the culinary art field here in Cheyenne."

For Coronado, Cheyenne is at once old and new. This is a city that takes pride in its rich traditions, such as the iconic Cheyenne Frontier Days, while also embracing the innovative and the contemporary. Railspur is a prime example of how the old and new coexist in perfect harmony, creating a vibrant and dynamic community.

"I feel like we've accomplished what we've set out to do, which was to create a food revolution," he added.