Czech beer train heading for the U.S. and China

By Karel Janicek, The Associated Press

PRAGUE — Having been tested successfully on beer-loving Czechs, the beer train is heading for the United States and China.

Just imagine: you order a pint of beer, or even a cool glass of orange juice, and your drink is served by a model freight train arriving at your table.

The only thing you have to do is to pick up your glass before the train departs.

It’s reasonably fast, efficient and fun.

Petr Fridrich came up with the concept in the Czech city of Brno in 2009.

“I used to be a collector of engines, train models. It combines business with a hobby,” he said. “Men are like big children.”

Expansion came in the form of two further railway restaurants in the Czech capital of Prague. Around 6 million drinks have been served on the elaborate networks of rail tracks.

One of the restaurants in Prague serves about 1,500 on average every day, with about half of going to foreign tourists, unsurprisingly. And about 10 percent go to kids.

“The figures look good,” Fridrich said. “A reason why we decided to expand.”

Next stop — Chicago.

“We were looking for an interesting place in the United States and we ended up in Chicago,” Fridrich said. “That we wanted to start making beer added to our decision. There is a large German community, they know what it (beer) is about and a significantly large space was available. At the moment, we are finalizing the last details of the rent contract.”

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