Sahm’s Ale House Opens in Village of West Clay
Writer / Josh Brown
Photographer / Brian Brosmer
Sahm is a familiar name in the Indianapolis restaurant world. Ever since Ed Sahm’s flagship location, Sahm’s Restaurant, opened in 1986 in Fishers, the Sahm family has more than made a name for itself.
That success has now traveled to its newest location — Sahm’s Ale House in Carmel. The new Village of West Clay restaurant officially opened in mid-February. The spot is Sahm’s first-ever Carmel restaurant, and Eddie Sahm, Vice President, says it was an opportunity he and his father couldn’t pass up.
“We originated on the north side, so we are familiar with it,” Sahm says. “People know the kind of food we are making and service standards we have. We wanted to replicate that and bring it to Carmel, so people wouldn’t have to drive all the way to Fishers. The spot is kind of an underserved area of Carmel right now, and we are excited to be a part of it. It is a beautiful spot and everyone there is so welcoming. It is great to be a part of the community.”
The new Sahm’s Ale House has stayed busy since its opening. The first Ale House opened in Nora less than a year ago. Being in the beer business, Sahm says the idea for an Ale House made sense for the company.
“It is a natural fit for us,” Sahm says. “Craft beer is hitting the mark here in Indianapolis right now. We don’t do the most trendy thing, but we do something that is nice to come back to each week or month. We are kid friendly, which is a big deal for the Carmel area. We take our food and freshness seriously, too. We try to have a balanced lineup beer wise.”
If you are looking for variety, Sahm’s Ale House fits the bill. The restaurant offers much more than wings, burgers, sandwiches and the typical bar food. Its tacos and burrito bowls have become a popular choice, including the Gobi Manchurian tacos and bowls — a great vegetarian option with breaded cauliflower tossed in Manchurian sauce, roasted garbanzos, scallions, cilantro and an Asian slaw. Sahm’s Ale House wood-fired pizzas are also made in-house daily. With signature plates like steaks and pork chops, Wood Roasted Salmon, Fish & Chips and Meatloaf, guests won’t lack in options for a delicious meal.
“Our pizzas are excellent,” Sahm says. “The loaded potato (Potato Bacon Pie) pizza is a great one. Ranch is the Hoosier condiment and that pizza has plenty of it. My personal favorite would probably be the Wood Roasted Salmon. That dish is incredible and we always have fresh vegetables every day. I get that with a baked potato. It sounds simple, but it is roasted in a wood fire oven. I believe dishes like that really set us apart based on the freshness and preparation.”
From top to bottom, the business remains truly family-owned and operated. Ed Sahm and Eddie co-own the business, Hoss Canteen Inc. Eddie serves as Vice President, Director of Operations and “the wanderer” — as he bounces from one location to another to manage, train and make sure operations are running smoothly. Eddie’s sister Adrienne handles the Beverage Operations and logistics side of the business, while his sister Molly is the main bartender in their downtown location and also trains other new bartenders.
Eddie says his father’s leadership has played a major role in the company’s success over the years.
“Ed’s leadership style is so unique,” Eddie says. “He would never tell you to do something he wouldn’t do himself. No part of the business is too low for him. He has always been willing to do it all and that has always inspired our employees. The loyalty is off the charts. I’ve always been inspired to learn that and replicate that. The human element of it is what has made him so close with people around Fishers, Indianapolis, Carmel and all over — you know Ed. He reaches out and he is truly a giving person. It is fun to be a part of a legacy that is more personal than financial.”
Charitable giving is also a major aspect of Sahm’s restaurants. The group has been involved with organizations like Second Helpings and the Megan Ott Foundation over the years and plans to find ways to stay active in the Carmel community with events and charities as well.
Overall, Sahm restaurants continue to grow more than 30 years later, and there is no evidence of Ed or Eddie slowing down the growth anytime soon. More ventures are sure to be on the horizon, but Sahm’s overall focus remains the same — providing top-notch service to their customers.
“In this business success is a day old,” Eddie says. “We have a balance of humility and not being afraid to speak our minds. We work really hard and understand that what we do is a service. This is for other people, it isn’t for us. If we ever lose sight of that, then we are in the wrong business. I don’t think we have a recipe that is this hidden secret or design element that makes us superior. We work really hard and care about people.”
Sahm’s Ale House Village of West Clay is located at 12819 E. New Market Street in Carmel. For more information, give them a call at 317-853-6278 or visit them online at sahmsalehouse.com/carmel.