ANYONE turning up to Wodonga’s Junction Place expecting a train are in for a very long wait.
And believe it or not, it still happens — despite the city’s grand old railway station being decommisioned five years ago.
“Google still sends them here,” quips restaurateur Jodie Jones.
Ms Jones and her partner Steve Carne remain Junction Place’s sole tenants, after opening their new dining venture Broadgauge four months ago.
And it’s lucky for those wayward travellers that they did — in the short time they’ve been open, the restaurant is proving a raging success.
This week it added another accolade to the list, being listed as one of the top-five must-visit regional restaurants on the Pieces of Victoria website, keeping company with Tani Eat & Drink in Bright and the Healesville Hotel.
That’s on top making it into The Age Good Food Guide, just a few weeks after first opening.
“It’s just unbelievable,” Mr Carne said.
“The company we’re keeping in that list is amazing ... we’re proud to be part of that group, and it’s a credit to the team here that we can achieve that result so quickly.”
Mr Carne credits the reputation built from previous ventures with some of that success — Sourcedining in Albury which was “a really intense type of product”, and the “much more informal” nature of The Kitchen at the Courthouse Hotel in Howlong.
“This sits somewhere in between,” he said.
“It meets in the middle of both and seems to be a really good fit for a regional city like Wodonga.”
Somewhat seredipitously, Broadgauge sits exactly where the dining hall was of the original railway building.
“It’s come full circle, back to where we were at the start,” Mr Carne said.
“And I think a lot of people are interested in that history and the railway building itself.”
They have grand plans for the future of the restaurant, including “platform dining”, and are keen to see the central Wodonga revitalisation works completed.
“It will be great once the whole precinct is finished and there’s a lot more of a buzz here,” Ms Jones said.
“It will all complement what we’re doing here.”
Earth movers outside the restaurant’s windows might not be his first choice, but Mr Carne shrugs.
“I say that’s progress — we knew it was happening when we started and we were happy to be a part of it,” he said.