A train bell clangs and a voice hollers, “Jacksonport!” Heads swivel as a model train chugs along PC Junction’s U-shape bar (crafted from reclaimed doors) carrying its precious cargo—baskets of steaming hot cheeseburgers with fries ($8.50). A hungry family of recipients beneath the Jacksonport sign grabs their dinner, and the train keeps rolling on.
Children eagerly wait to see whether playful staff might send out Rudolph (complete with blinking red nose) or other characters onto the track between meal deliveries. About every 20 minutes or so, laughter and shrieks erupt as the train rumbles past shooting out clouds of iridescent bubbles.
The sense of surprise and whimsy makes PC Junction a hit with families, grandparents and train buffs, but the food is good on its own merits even without all the extra bells and whistles. Burgers are pattied by hand and dripping with cheese, and the signature chili is made from scratch ($3.50 a cup, $3.95 a bowl). The bar seats are worth waiting for, but rushed diners can eat at additional tables spread over two levels and outside on a patio.
PC Junction is open for lunch and dinner; closed Tuesdays.