By Robert Herrington
Toby, a Zionsville native, and Melanie Miles are off the beaten path – for now. The married couple of chefs have created an upscale rustic European-style market and café across from the southwest corner of the soon-to-be Grand Junction Park and Plaza.
“Epicurean stands for quality over quantity – the community coming together to enjoy food and drink with people. It’s better to enjoy one bottle of wine with company than two by yourself,” Toby said.
Like the almost 100-year-old barn that houses their business, the Miles are attempting to transform the eyes and palette of diners to be a little bit different.
“Our menu changes – if not daily – ever other day,” Toby said.
The barn at 211 Park St., in Westfield, originally began on a farm before it was moved to a lumber yard on Mill Street. Property owner Bob Beauchamp is no year of the exact year but thinks it was in the 1920s when the yard caught fire.
“This place survived,” he said.
The barn was purchased and moved to its present location in 1958 by the Edwards family.
The barn’s pieces have been repurposed, with the original wood siding used as cabinetry and trim, and the tin roof as décor around the interior.
“The countertop is an old bowling alley floor,” he said.
The Miles shared their concept idea with Beauchamp who helped make it a reality.
“It was a massive collaboration effort,” Melanie said. “When we originally pitched the idea he shot us down pretty quickly.”
“When we bought this, we didn’t intend to do this. I didn’t think this would ever work out,” Beauchamp said, adding the barn’s upstairs is being converted to rental space. “It’s certainly unique to Westfield … What’s going to happen to the area is going to be amazing when Grand Junction opens.”
Cooking up success
Food has been in Toby’s life since he was a young boy and his mother was a caterer in England.
“As a child he would sit under the prep table and play while she worked,” Melanie said, adding that Toby would make cookies and pastries in the back room until he was the legal age to work in the kitchen.
The Miles met each other while working at Kelties. Toby, who started as a sauté chef before becoming sous chef, started a few months prior to Melanie, who began on the grill before to the front of the house. The two started dating after Kelties closed in August 2012.
Rail Epicurean Market opened April 1. Half of the business is the European-style café and the other half is a grocery selling local products.
“All of our stuff us setup to grab and go – pastries, quiches and coffee at breakfast and sandwiches, soup and salad at lunch,” Melanie said. “It’s a very convenient alternative to basic fast food.”
Rail Epicurean Market
Where: 211 Park St.
Specialty: Local and artisan pastries, sandwiches, coffee, tea, grocery items, communal dining and special events.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.