Syd’s Bar & Grill is a Long-Time Favorite in Noblesville
Writer / Matt Keating
Photographer / Brian Brosmer
Syd’s Bar & Grill, 808 Logan Street, Noblesville, a long-time Indiana institution, is recognized around the world for its great drinks, fine food, warm atmosphere and famous neon sign.
Syd’s t-shirts and apparel have been recognized and photographed in places as far away as Texas and The Great Wall of China.
“Syd’s has been around so long that people see a Syd’s t-shirt somewhere when they are traveling, and it makes them feel at home,” says owner Rick Robison. “For so many years, it’s been a homey place where people can relax, have a good drink and enjoy an excellent meal. And it’s still that way. People love Syd’s.”
Syd’s is in the Evans Building on the historic Courthouse Square in downtown Noblesville. The Hamilton County Courthouse was built in 1879, and 10 years later, the first tavern opened in the new Evans Building. Robison says the tavern originally benefitted from the nearby railroad traffic and offered lodging on the upper floors to travelers.
The Evans Building has always been used as a tavern except during 1909-1933, when alcohol sales were prohibited. Walter Carey and Sid Gill opened Syd’s in 1945, and they installed their locally famous shuffleboard game in the middle of the bar.
Syd’s originally became known for its cold drinks and friendly service, but it was the quality food coming out of the kitchen that established Syd’s reputation far and wide.
“Syd’s is still known for our great food today,” Robison says. “That has never changed. We get a lot of repeat business. Guests like bringing a lot of their family and friends. They love the interior. People also like the outdoor patio in the warm weather months.”
Syd’s breaded tenderloin sandwich is considered among the best in the state.
For decades, Syd’s tasty menu items have kept customers coming back for more. The variety of lunch and daily specials have been quite popular.
“Customers love the burgers, fish and prime rib,” Robison says. “We get a lot of compliments.”
Recent specials featured on Syd’s Facebook Page have included Ham and Beans with Fried Potatoes and Cornbread, Prime Rib Manhattan with Mashed Potatoes and Vegetables, Homemade Spaghetti and Garlic Bread, Taco Tuesday’s and Syd’s Stromboli Sandwich with a side.
Other socials have included The Chili and Grilled Sandwich, the Catfish Sandwich, Chicken or Beef Quesadillas and Country Fried Steak. Many former Noblesville residents make Syd’s their destination on their return trips to the city.
“Syd’s is like a ‘Cheers’ bar where everybody knows your name,” Robison says. “The staff really goes out of their way to know what people like to eat and drink. They offer outstanding service.”
Syd’s was voted as one of the 10 Best Bars in Indiana by BestThingsIN.com.
“Syd’s is a unique setting in a historic part of Noblesville that has been a success for decades,” Robison adds. “We make a lot of friends here and keep the old customers coming back.”
Robison became a co-owner of Syd’s in 1995. He bought out his partner in 2010. “I’ve loved owning Syd’s, and seeing it grow and change over the years but still maintain its uniqueness,” he says.
Robison was born and raised in Noblesville and loves the city.
“This was a great place to grow up,” he says. “The people are wonderful. Friends I’ve known for years always come in and have a good time.”
The neon Syd’s Fine Food sign has taken on a life of its own.
“It’s such an old and unique sign that really stands out,” Robison says. “I have to replace the transformers to keep it going, but it looks great at night and it’s very welcoming. It’s a lot like Syd’s itself.”