Recommended Listing Price$897,500

Café Lafayette Dinner Train

Background Information

This business has been in existence since 1989. It operates as a Subchapter “S” Corporation. The real estate is owned by one of the owners of the business, as an individual. The business is housed in seven railroad cars including a power car, three dining cars, a caboose, which houses the kitchen and storage areas, and a car housing the gift shop and office. The seventh car is intended to be a future kitchen car.

The Café Lafayette Dinner Train has earned its solid reputation as a unique, highly regarded, perfectly located, top quality dining experience, through the hard work, commitment, and dedication of its current owners. The business has a very loyal local and visitor clientele and enjoys the reputation as the most unique and highest quality dining experience in the area. Exemplary service, quality ingredients, exquisite presentation, and an unrivaled ambience have earned the Café Lafayette the honors of being the restaurant of choice for those very special dining occasions.

The Industry

The restaurant industry in the Lincoln-Woodstock area is seasonal, as it sits in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountain region, a popular tourist destination. When the tourists are here (June through October and December through March, roughly), restaurants are very busy weekends and school vacation periods. During the off-season and winter midweek periods, restaurants in the area have to appeal to their local clientele and function business.

The Café Lafayette currently operates only six months of the year, from May to October, taking advantage of the busiest tourism season in the White Mountains.

For further information on the state of the restaurant industry in Lincoln-Woodstock and New Hampshire, contact the following entities:

Lincoln-Woodstock Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 358
Kancamagus Highway
Lincoln, NH 03251

New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association
P.O. Box 1175
14 Dixon Avenue, Suite 208
Concord, NH 03302


The Café Lafayette is ideally located directly off Interstate 93, at the intersection of the Kancamagus Scenic Highway in Lincoln, just 130 miles from Boston. The train operates from its home base on a 3/4 acre parcel at The Crossing at Riverplace Drive.

Uniquely, the location of the Café Lafayette changes as the dinner train works its way along its 2-1/2 hour, 20 mile round trip voyage, with views of the Pemigewasset River and its surrounding fields, forests, and mountains.

Physical Condition

The condition of the rail cars and of all of the furniture, fixtures, and equipment is excellent. All capital assets are meticulously maintained with preventative maintenance handled as scheduled and repairs and upgrades handled as required.

Reason for Selling & Other Facts

The owners have dedicated the last 17 years to the business and are looking to do something else with their lives.

The current owners are willing to stay on and train for two weeks after the transfer of the business at no charge.

Inventory of Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment

  • All Kitchen Equipment
  • Full Dinner Service for 150 Covers
  • #103 Power Car
  • #221 Dome Car, 1952 Granite Eagle
  • #3207 Dining Car, 1954 Algonquin
  • #221 Dining Car, Indian Waters
  • #60069 Caboose with contents and equipment
  • #214 Kitchen Car for Future Use
  • #323 Gift Shop and Office Car
  • 2005 Honda Element
  • 1995 Ford Winstar

The approximate total fair market value of the Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment is $475,000.


The approximate total fair market value of the dry goods and fresh and frozen consumables to be left at the time of sale is $4,000. An inventory of all the items should be taken at the time of closing and the value adjusted (up or down) depending upon its results.

Hours of Operation/Employees

The restaurant is open from May through October on varying days depending upon the season. Boarding is usually at 5:15pm and full departure by 8:00pm. There are 5 full time and 12 part-time employees, on average.

Size of Facility

The dining facility is the train itself, made up of the seven rail cars. The seating capacity is 150+. There is parking on property for up to 80 cars.

Annual Sales Volume

Available upon completing a Confidentiality Agreement.

Gross Profit Margin

Available upon completing a Confidentiality Agreement.


Available upon completing a Confidentiality Agreement.

2004-2005 Profit and Loss Statements

Available upon completing a Confidentiality Agreement.

Ways to Improve the Business

Positive revenue results could be immediately realized with extended hours during the off-season. Although the tracks are not available in the winter, the dinner train could still operate, only as a stationery entity. Also, to add extra days of operation during the season when the dinner train is running could also add revenues, based, of course, on the anticipated increase in covers.

The current owners also believe that by creating more catering opportunities, and increasing marketing efforts locally with area businesses, the business would be able to grow substantially.

Recommended Listing Price (RLP)

The RLP justification for this business is as follows:

The business has Gross Revenues of: *
The business has a cost of goods sold of: *
The business has a Gross Profit of: *
The business has Sellers Discretionary Earnings of: *
Salable Inventory at Cost: $4,000
Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment: $475,000
Real Estate: $275,000
  TOTAL RLP: $897,500

*Available upon completing a Confidentiality Agreement.