With a kid-friendly atmosphere complete with a small playground, Iron Horse Bar & Grill strives to be a place where families can enjoy time together around the table.

The restaurant opened in 2006 and has been family-owned and -operated throughout its years in New Braunfels. Sylvia Ayala and her husband purchased the business in 2013, and she said they have worked hard to overhaul the space and update its aesthetics.

“We just keep working hard all day, every day, and try to make this place look even better,” Ayala said.

Ayala has lived in New Braunfels her entire life, but she has not always worked in the food industry. She comes from a background in management and said owning a restaurant was something that was on her bucket list. When she and her husband found Iron Horse, they knew they wanted to take the plunge and take over the restaurant.

“We’re a small family-owned business,” said Ayala, which is why she said she promotes education and is flexible with her employees’ working hours. “Everybody needs that push,” she said.

Ayala said she has enjoyed being a part of a thriving restaurant and loves providing stellar customer service.

“I enjoy serving the customers and making great food for everybody,” Ayala said. “Just knowing how happy people are when they leave here and hearing that people are actually going around and recommending this place to other people. … That just makes me so happy,” she said.

Though the restaurant is known for its burgers, Ayala said her favorite thing to order is the chicken-fried steak with a serving of macaroni and cheese and fried okra.

“Sometimes I get full just smelling all the food all day, though. It’s all so good,” Ayala said. Iron Horse Bar & Grill also features a patio, a small playground area and a live music stage for weekend performances.

Iron Horse Bar & Grill
1030 N. Business I-35, New Braunfels
Hours: Sun.-Wed. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight