Fireside Brewhouse brings revamped menu & live music nights featuring south side bands
Writer / Matt Roberts
Photographer / Amy Payne
Fireside Brewhouse opened in its present location in 2008. Part of the reason they chose the southwest corner of County Line Road and Emerson was the expectation of a huge water park planned for a short distance east close to I-65.
The water park project never materialized, but Fireside remained and is thriving along with the expanding roster of businesses on the east side of Greenwood.
Managing Partner Carol Reilly remembers the stress of dealing with the loss of the water park project shortly after the restaurant opened.
“It was hard,” she says. “There wasn’t a lot going on (in the area) at that point. But the first couple of years are hard for any business. In the restaurant industry, the really hard knocks come over the first seven years, and we’re just now getting past that.”
Reilly’s family owns and operates The Pub in downtown Indianapolis, but they wanted Fireside to cater more to families and businesses.
“We wanted a family atmosphere,” Reilly says. “But we have several different hats that we wear here. We have a bar for those over 21, two dining rooms where we cater to families and a banquet room for parties and rehearsal dinners.
“We also get a lot of support from St. Francis and Community hospitals, along with all the doctors and pharmacists around them. We host the St. Francis Christmas party every year. This year we had more than 350 people in for that.”
But Reilly doesn’t plan to let the business coast. With the explosion of restaurants within two miles of the County Line and Emerson intersection, she can’t afford to rely solely on repeat business.
“I worry about every restaurant that opens around us,” she says. “Many of them feed families, but don’t necessarily have a bar. But if customers come through the area, it’s not bad for us.
“You have to try to stay ahead of the curve. We have to make sure our event space is going a good percentage of the time, and that we’re hitting the rest of our cylinders (family dining and bar business). We’re not corporate, so we have a lot more flexibility and can mold ourselves to the needs of the community.”
Over the past couple of years, Fireside has refreshed its menu and made other changes to keep from getting stale.
“We have live music now on Friday and Saturday nights, using mostly south side bands,” Reilly says. “We started with music just on Fridays a year and a half ago, and now we’ve added Saturdays. Four years ago we had 10 beer taps, and we’ve expanded that to 20 with a lot of local beers, which has been really good.
“This year we’re going to focus a lot on catering and going to outside events. We recently did a wedding at Mallow Run where we catered the food,” she adds.
Recent news reports have even detailed a revived interest in a sports complex where the water park was supposed to be in 2009. But whether that materializes or not, Reilly thinks their location is a good one.
“In the restaurant business sometimes you do really well, and other times it slows down,” Reilly says. “But I really believe this is the side of Greenwood that’s going to be booming.”
Fireside Brewhouse is located at 997 E County Line Rd. You can visit them online at firesidebrewhouse.com or give them a call at 317-859-9505.