Writer: Matt Keating
Photographer: Ryan Woodall
Mara Segerson, director of operations for Fat Dan’s Chicago-Style Deli, 840 W. Main Street, says the demand for a new Fat Dan’s in Carmel has been strong for the last few years.
“After a lot of feedback from our guests who have joined us at our Broad Ripple and Mass Avenue locations, we decided to give the people what they wanted: a Carmel location,” she says. “Traveling this way has been on our minds for a while, and when the opportunity presented itself, we jumped on it.”
Segerson, who has been in the restaurant business a long time, says Fat Dan’s Chicago-style Deli has been an ideal fit for her.
“I’ve worked in restaurants for the last 20 years in Indianapolis, Bloomington and Fort Wayne,” Segerson says. “I’ve seen the in and outs of everything from a wing joint, casual dining, bars and upscale restaurants, and Fat Dan’s definitely feels like home.”
Segerson is excited about the new Carmel location and added that she and her staff have been getting to know the Carmel community.
“We knew there would be mixed emotions with the closing of Crust Pizzeria Napoletana as we came in, so we wanted to take our time getting to know the guests who had enjoyed it,” she says. “We operated as Crust for the first month and received both ends of the spectrum. The overall feedback is that people are just as excited about us coming here as we are to be here. And don’t worry, we are keeping the pizza oven.”
The popular Fat Dan’s franchise is owned by Dan Jarman, with one successful location at 5410 N. College Avenue, south of Broad Ripple, and the other at 410 E. Michigan Street, east of Massachusetts Avenue. He took over ownership of Crust Pizzeria Napoletana last February. The transformation to Fat Dan’s is now complete.
Fat Dan’s mantra is No Bull. No Chain. No Gimmicks. They are an authentic Chicago-Style deli and pub, with Chicago comfort food and great craft beers and wines.
“Fat Dan’s has a menu full of popular items, but if you haven’t been here before I would suggest the Dirty Tots, Smoked Wings, Smoked Brisket, Smoked Meatloaf (Wednesday Only), Hand-cut Fries, and, of course, a Chicago Dog,” Segerson says. “You will not be disappointed whichever direction you choose to go.”
Segerson’s favorite food at Fat Dan’s is a full meal, rather than just one single menu item.
“Start with the Smoked Wings and Dirty Tots, move to the Italian Beef extra wet with fries, and finish it with a bottled Coca-Cola,” she says.
Fat Dan’s is also serving a variety of burgers, hot dogs, deli sandwiches and smoked meats.
Some time down the road, Segerson says Fat Dan’s will eventually be appearing at community activities.
“Right now we’re just trying to open our doors to satisfy the people of Carmel,” she says. “As we get more acclimated with the events around town you’ll see us popping up at local events.”
Segerson believes Far Dan’s has increased in popularity at all three of its locations.
“In my opinion, I think Fat Dan’s brings people together,” Segerson says. “Families, friends, sports fans and strangers, all get to come in and leave their worries on the doorstep. We’re strong in our community and believe that our number one job is to make you feel like you’re coming home every time you walk through our doors. It should feel like you’re in your basement or hanging out with your buddies or your kids just enjoying life. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of making that happen.”
Segerson says that all of their locations are different in their own way.
“Our Carmel location will be just the same way,” she says. “In addition to the full Fat Dan’s menu, we will be incorporating things from the pizza oven. Specialty pizzas, calzones a few salads and hopefully some very eager guests to try our new spin on things.”
Segerson looks forward to filling the new location’s front and back patios in addition to making some Carmel Chicago Cubs fans very happy with its Chicago-style features.
“We’ve redesigned the bar to make it family-friendly as well,” Segerson says. “We have 10 televisions that will have the best of everyone’s teams. We look forward to seeing some familiar faces and introducing ourselves to some new ones.”
Fat Dan’s Chicago-Style Deli in Carmel is located at 840 W Main Street. You can give them a call at 317-993-3330 or visit them online at fatdansdeli.com.