It will be named Grindstone Public House and it should bring the best of both Clancy’s and Grindstone Charley’s to Noblesville. For those who miss the Topper, it could be a dream come true.
Clancy’s Inc. could open Grindstone Public House as soon as March 2018 at 101 N. 10th St. in Noblesville.
The Reporter spoke with several people involved in this project about both the history and the future of the Clancy’s legacy.
“We couldn’t be more excited to open an exciting new restaurant, just blocks away from where it all began,” said Clancy’s CEO and President Perry Fogelsong.
The company started in Noblesville in 1965 and the family is looking forward to returning to their Hamilton County roots with this new project.
“I’m the third-generation owner and director of operations with the company,” said Blake Fogelsong. “My dad [Perry] is the main owner. We are a family owned and operated business started in 1965 just a couple blocks down the street from where this restaurant will be.”
That first location was the Clancy’s Hamburgers store that gave Noblesville its love for the “Topper.”
“That was the first double drive through in the Midwest. At one point, we had 30 different Clancy’s Hamburgers operations. We would go into small towns before McDonald’s would go into small towns. Eventually, when McDonald’s came in our sales went down and we sold a lot of the Clancy’s Hamburgers off. We still operate one in Sidney, Ohio.”
While this new restaurant will offer a Topper, it is more akin to Grindstone Charley’s than to Clancy’s.
“In 1982 my dad started Grindstone Charley’s in Noblesville,” Fogelsong said. “We currently operate four of those: one in Kokomo, one in Lafayette and two in Indianapolis. We want to take some best sellers from Grindstone Charley’s, pare down the menu, and elevate it, with such a unique location in a historic building, we really have a chance to reinvent ourselves.”
FC Tucker Company’s Kurt Meyer was instrumental in bringing Grindstone Public House to Noblesville.
“I worked with both the sellers and the folks from Grindstone Charley’s,” Meyer told The Reporter. “And that’s how I think of it. It’s going to be a restaurant that’s more sympathetic to Grindstone Charley’s than it is to Clancy’s, but it’s the Clancy’s people. To have the Grindstone folks step up and say they wanted it was exciting.”
Nova 29 Property Management owns the building where Grindstone Public House will open next year. Nova 29 Owner is co-owned by husband and wife Craig and Christi Crosser. Craig Crosser told The Reporter he has been a longtime fan of the Grindstone Charley’s brand.
“I remember the original Grindstones when my parents moved up to Morse Reservoir,” Crosser said. “We would visit that often. What we are excited about as property managers is that it’s a known brand in Noblesville and have that kind of built-in excitement is good for Nova 29 and good for Noblesville.”
When asked when the he first heard the Fogelsongs were interested in his property, Crosser told The Reporter it was barely two week ago.
“It’s gone fairly quickly, Crosser said. “They came in and saw the space and visualized pretty quickly what they were going to do. Since we had previous restaurants in there we wanted to keep that space a restaurant. They can come into it and get started fairly quickly. I think that was attractive to them as well.”
Fogelsong said it was the right opportunity at the right time for his family.
“This just came out of the blue when the place became available that used to be The Ville,” Fogelsong said. “We’ve been looking for a property around the area for about a year. This came up and we decided to just go for it. Everybody is really excited about it.”
Meyer said the location will be familiar, but will feel new and bright to patrons who remember The Ville being at that address.
“They are going to make some neat changes to the building,” Meyer said. “I believe we will see the rest of the front windows of the building restored. They are partially covered by awnings and drywall, so it will be a much brighter space than it has been for the last two restaurants that were there. The space will feel much taller, much bigger and brighter than it felt for either The Ville, which was the most recent restaurant, or for Eddie’s, which was the restaurant before that.”
Crosser confirmed there will be small changes that will feel very big to patrons.
“They aren’t really doing a lot, but just opening up the windows off of Logan Street and moving back the mezzanine a little will open up the space on the first floor,” Crosser said. “Some little tweaks will really brighten it up in there.”
A typical Grindstone Charley’s is around 5,000 to 7,000 square feet, but the Fogelsong family said they think this smaller footprint will work well.
“We are bringing back some of the Clancy’s favorites that people loved, but we will also do a more upper-scale version of Grindstone Charley’s,” Fogelsong said. “We will have steaks, seafood, chicken dishes, but we are going to work with a lot of local farmers and producers in the area to make it more localized.”
Some of those local producers include Miller Poultry Farm, Cooks Bison Ranch, Tyner Pond Farms, Smoking Goose, Bettini Pasta and Fisher Farms.
“We will have 14 to 16 different local craft drafts on tap,” Fogelsong said. “We plan to make is a unique blend of both with that special downtown Noblesville location.”
As a new variation on both Grindstone Charley’s and Clancy’s, the family thought this location needed its own name.
“We wanted to use the term Grindstone,” Fogelsong told The Reporter. “The interior designer we hired came up with ‘Public House.’ It’s a hot new term. It means community. It’s like the new ‘neighborhood bar and grill’ term for a place. When we heard it we instantly fell in love with it.”
That interior designer Fogelsong spoke of is Phanomen/Design and Fogelsong credits them with part of the success of one of their other Noblesville restaurants.
“This is the second project we’ve done with them,” Fogelsong said. “They remodeled our Italian restaurant in Noblesville, Michaelangelo’s, and sales there have been up 20 percent since they remodeled it. We think they are really talented.”
Fogelsong said the team is looking forward to great success in the downtown area and he thinks residents will welcome them with open arms.
“We are just super excited,” Fogelsong said. “We’ve done the Downtown Noblesville Street Dance the last three years. We served the Clancy’s Topper up there. The first year we did it the line was two blocks long to get a Topper. We are excited and we know Noblesville is going to be excited for this restaurant to come back. We feel like the town is really going to support it.”
They will not have long to wait to see how Hamilton County feels about the return of both Grindstone and the Topper. Fogelsong said opening next spring is a “firm” goal.
“Our target date is the beginning of March,” Fogelsong said. “We feel like that is achievable. The designers are drawing up plans starting next week. Sometimes it is harder to get contractors in there if the winter is bad, but right now the target date is the first week of March, 2018.”
Stand by, Hamilton County. With this kind of history and a proven track record, Grindstone Public House may be hard to top.