On The Grind
Grindstone Public House Set to Open in Downtown Noblesville
Writer / Jon Shoulders
Photographer / Amy Payne
The new Grindstone Public House (GPH) on 10th Street in Noblesville has an abundance of historical significance. And according to Blake Fogelsong, that significance goes far beyond the fact that it’s located in a historic structure on the downtown square, originally built in 1890.
Fogelsong is a third-generation member of family-owned Clancy’s, Inc., owners of Grindstone Charley’s, Michelangelo’s Italian Bistro and Clancy’s Hamburgers, and he’s both excited and proud that the Public House is located two blocks away from the very first restaurant his grandfather Carl opened back in 1965, where the current city hall parking lot now sits. The new restaurant is set to open by May.
“We’re super thrilled about bringing the Grindstone brand back to Hamilton County,” Fogelsong says. “To do a new concept in Noblesville, the same town that my grandpa started almost 53 years ago, is very special.”
Fogelsong says the GPH concept is a slightly upscale riff on Grindstone Charley’s, with locally-sourced ingredients, a 16-tap beer system featuring Indiana craft drafts and a robust whiskey and bourbon selection.
“The original floors are still in there and we’re keeping those and doing some renovations and all new furnishings too,” Fogelsong says of the GPH space, which was formerly occupied by The Ville Restaurant and accommodates 111 guests as well as a private event space on the upstairs level. “We hired a great interior design firm, Phanomen Design, to really make it look neat. They also did Michelangelo’s for us. There’s a lot of brass and copper tones and cool lighting in there.”
Even the Grindstone Public House menu has a bit of Clancy’s history – it includes the Topper, the burger that helped make Clancy’s Hamburgers one of the Midwest’s premier burger joints through the late 1960s and 1970s. The menu also features appetizers like nachos and wings, salads, chicken dishes, steak, ribs and seafood.
Indy-based Clancy’s, Inc. plans to source from Fischer Farms for its steak and beef, as well as Silverthorn Farms, Cook’s Bison Ranch, Miller Poultry, Bettini Pasta and Piazza Produce for additional menu ingredients. Entrees fall in the $15 to $20 range, while sandwiches run from $10 to $12.
“The city’s been super supportive of the Public House and excited for us to delve into that historic space,” Fogelsong adds. “It’s been a smooth process with getting permits and all that kind of stuff.”
Fogelsong works alongside his father Perry, who serves as the Clancy’s, Inc. president and CEO, to help carry on his grandpa’s culinary legacy. Carl owned as many as 30 Clancy’s Hamburgers, the first double drive-thru restaurant in the Midwest, in four states until the late 1970s, by which time McDonald’s had begun to corner much of the fast-food burger market nationwide. As a result, Clancy’s began diversifying in the early 1980s, when Perry joined the company and helped to open the first Grindstone Charley’s in Noblesville. Four more locations followed in Indy, Lafayette, Speedway and Kokomo, and by 2010 Blake, a Ball State grad, had teamed up with Perry in the role of director of operations.
Sidney, Ohio, is home to the sole surviving Clancy’s Hamburgers location, and Fogelsong is proud to be bringing a taste of Clancy’s history to Grindstone Public House in the form of the original Clancy’s Topper burger.
“With the Public House, we’re really focusing on the atmosphere and how it feels,” he says. “It takes a lot in the restaurant market to be successful, but we believe there will always be a market for people who want to go out and be in a comfortable yet unique environment.”
Clancy’s, Inc. is also in the process of opening its fifth Grindstone Charley’s in Westfield, currently slated for an early 2019 opening.
“Actually, the first Grindstone Charley’s was the one my dad started in Noblesville back in 1982,” Fogelsong says. “We sold that location off to CVS in 2006, and we’ve been looking for a good location ever since. With the explosion of growth with Grand Park and all over Westfield, we felt like it was the perfect fit to come back there.”
Grindstone Public House is located at 101 N. 10th Street in Noblesville. Visit grindstonepublichouse.com for more info.