Eatery proposed for Lawrenceville train depot

LAWRENCEVILLE - Across the state, vacant train depots have been converted to police departments, welcome centers or ballrooms for special events.

In Lawrenceville, there is talk of making the empty train depot a restaurant.

Linda Nash, a Lilburn resident, has approached the city about leasing the depot, City Councilman Mike Crow said. He said the depot, previously used as a copier store, has been vacant for six months to a year.

Crow said he is intrigued by the prospect.

"I hate seeing any building of historic nature vacant," he said. "The more the public can get into it, the more it would benefit the whole area. I prefer to see that."

Nash did not return a phone call seeking more information about the proposal, but Crow said it is not unusual for the city to be approached about leasing buildings it owns.

He said Nash is surveying the state's 236 depots to determine what uses they have and whether a restaurant would be viable. The most, 61, are vacant.

Norcross' depot is a restaurant - the Norcross Station Cafe - and has been for almost 14 years, an employee there said. City officials could not be reached to say whether the restaurant owned or leased the space.

Once Nash's survey is complete, Crow said, her proposal will come before the City Council that will determine whether to lease the space.

"It's in her ballpark at this time," he said.