Writer / Matt Keating
Photographer / Jubilee Edgell
Dave Langdon, owner of The Brass Rail Bar & Grill, says the restaurant has enjoyed a loyal following since in opened over three decades ago.
“The Brass Rail was established on August 5, 1985,” Langdon says. “It was originally purchased by my father, Tom Langdon, who also owned Pat’s Bar in LaPaz, Indiana, for 42 years.”
Dave and his wife, Michelle, operated The Brass Rail together for its first 11 years.
“After that time, Michelle went into the real estate business, and has been a successful real estate broker for Collins & Company for the last 23 years,” Langdon says. “After the first five years of business, Michelle and I purchased the restaurant from my father. As business continued to grow, we expanded the restaurant to add a family dining room, and 45 -seat banquet room.”
Langdon noted that over the years, the restaurant has been remodeled many times.
“Over the course of three decades, the decor has had many looks,” he says, “The last remodel was done in January 2018, taking our bar room from the once small, seven-seat bar, with many raised areas, and lots of carpet, to a very contemporary, 17 -seat bar with a stainless steel bar top, bamboo wood floors, all-new tables and chairs, and a new 14 -tap keg cooler.”
Langdon believes The Brass Rail has been successful over the years for many reasons.
“First, we have a great staff both in the front of the house, as well as the kitchen,” Langdon says. “Many of our staff have also worked at The Brass Rail for decades. Our day bartender, Julie, has the most longevity, with 25 years. My floor manager, Linda, has been with the Rail for over 15 years.”
Langdon noted that the restaurant has a total of 25 dedicated employees who make everything run smoothly on a daily basis.
“Besides the staff, we have a lot of dedicated customers who dine at The Rail multiple times a week,” Langdon says. “The Rail is little different than most restaurants because we have a separate, very large, lunch menu. So, customers have many options to choose from.”
Langdon added that it has been his experience that “most people want a hometown restaurant, as opposed to a chain restaurant, when they come to town or just going out to eat.”
Regular guests at The Brass Rail have their favorites.
“If you would ask most customers what The Brass Rail is known for, they would say our fish,” Langdon says. “We sell about 200 pounds per week.”
Langdon stresses that because so many people love their fish, every Thursday evening and Friday at lunch, they have “All You Can Eat Fish.”
The Brass Rail also has other big sellers on their menu.
“Many people will tell you their favorite menu item is our half-pound, hand-parried burgers,” Langdon says. “My personal favorite, that Michelle also likes, would have to be our Chicken Drummies and hot wings appetizers. That is our dinner every Friday night. Besides that, our second favorite is the Artichoke Salmon. There is just something about that artichoke dip we love.”
The Brass Rail also has some great daily specials.
“Every Monday, we have a pulled pork, fries & slaw, for only $7,” Langdon says. “On Tuesday, we sell our ever -popular $7 half-pound, burger and fries. On Wednesday, we have a Pan-Fried Blue Gill, and we serve our slow roasted prime rib on Friday and Saturdays.”
The Brass Rail also has daily drink specials.
On Mondays, $2.75 domestic bottled beer is served. Tuesdays are reserved for $3.25 Well Drinks. On Wednesdays, there are $4 Brass Mule.
“On Thursdays, there is $1 off all of our 14 Draft Beers, “Langdon says. “On Friday’s, we have $4 Bloody Mary’s, and on Saturdays, we have $2.75 domestic bottles.”
The Brass Rail likes to keep customers entertained too.
“Every Monday, we have Live Trivia from 7-8 p.m., and every Saturday, we have Karaoke from 9 a.m-1 p.m. All our entertainment is free of charge,” Langdon says.
Langdon is very sentimental about Plymouth and has enjoyed the friendships he has made over the years.
“The best thing I like about Plymouth, is that I know most of my customers,” Langdon says. “I have lived in Plymouth for 56 years, except for four years of college. Plymouth is a small community that has done very well and grown over the years. Besides that, my entire family lives in Plymouth, so Michelle and I have never even thought about moving anywhere.”
The Langdon have two children, Kyle, 32, Kayla,28, who live in Plymouth as well.
“Michelle and I met at Ball State University in 1981, and have been together ever since,” Langdon says. “We have two wonderful grandchildren, Landon, 4, and Kyler, 15 months. My parents were in the restaurant business for 42 years, owning Pat’s Bar in LaPaz, until about 2011, when my dad, Tom Langdon, retired.”
Dave added that his dad “comes to The Brass Rail a couple of times per week to, as he would put it, ‘just check up on me, and ask how business is.’ He always has a positive word to add to my day. To say he is proud of The Brass Rail, would be an understatement. He has the restaurant business in his blood. My mom, who just passed away in December 2018, was always instrumental in many of our food specials. She was an excellent cook and loved to entertain family & friends.”
Brass Rail Restaurant is located at 225 N. Michigan St. More information is available at thebrassrailbarandgrill.com or by calling 574-936-7004.