SHIOCTON, Wis. (WFRV) – The River Rail was a pillar in the Shiocton community for 40 years so when it closed it surprised the small tight-knit town.

Dick Wickesberg, the former River Rail owner, announced he was closing his business in June 2022. He said, “A lot of great experiences. One thing about Shiocton is it’s a small town but it’s got a big heart.”

The sign at the River Rail now tells a different story, it is open for business under new owners.

Codie Wegener, the new River Rail owner said, “I drove by one day and I saw a big sign that said closed, thanks for 40 years, they were closed and I just kinda inquired. I knew it was a big staple in town and I just kinda figured we’d inquire about it and get it going again.”

Wegner said the rest was history, he and his wife are now the owners of the River Rail business and lease the building from a friend that bought it.

“I came home one day and told my wife we bought a bar and she’s gonna help me do it,” said Wegner.

The former owner Dick Wickesberg said he is pleased to see his lifework back open.

“They have some new owners and they’re really nice people and actually they are the same age I was when I started the river rail,” he said. “There’s really not going to be anything different with anything with the food and stuff like that. It’s just gonna be the same old same old.”

Wegner said saving this business was important to him and the community.

“It feels really good,” he said. “The community is super excited about it. There’s a lot of help and support and everyone is willing to make this work.”