Business Spotlight: Clancy’s Inc.

Writer: Suzanne Huntzinger
Photographer: Jamie Sangar

When you find a great local hangout that serves great food in a family-friendly atmosphere, you want it to stay around forever. For more than 50 years, Clancy’s restaurants of Noblesville have been that good ole’ go-to standard.

It all started when Indiana Restaurant Hall of Fame member, Carl Fogelsong, opened Clancy’s Hamburgers in Noblesville in 1965. He chose Clancy the Keystone Cop as the mascot for his classic all-American style and friendly, hospitable demeanor. Since then, the Fogelsongs (Carl, his son Perry, daughters Annette and Becky, and Perry’s son Blake) have been giving the public a place to eat that they can count on.

Rivaling McDonald’s at a time when the chain didn’t establish itself in small towns, Clancy’s offered 100 percent pure beef hamburgers, the finest potatoes for French fries, and quality aged cheddar cheese. The restaurant earned a reputation not only for delivering top quality food at a reasonable price, but for having the best French Fries in town. Even more impressive, Clancy’s Hamburgers had the first double-drive thru in the Midwest and a 35-seat dining room.

“Those were two innovations that were not generally incorporated by fast food operations until later years,” says Blake Fogelsong, Director of Operations for Clancy’s Inc. “Clancy’s also offered a wide variety in its sandwich offerings right from the beginning; another first in the industry.” Only one original Clancy’s Hamburgers remains in Sidney, Ohio.

Clancy’s Inc. continued to evolve, and in 1982, the next in its group of restaurants opened, Grindstone Charley’s, in Noblesville. The name was a nod to Grindstone City, Michigan, where they visited, and Charley for Carl Fogelsong’s best friend. Blake Fogelsong describes Grindstone’s as an American restaurant and bar serving scratch made quality food and drinks. 

“We cook from scratch and purchase products you don’t find in most casual restaurants due to higher quality and cost,” he says. “We’re still able to offer amazing value due to our size and volume. Our pricing tends to compete with more casual restaurants, while our vibe and food quality is what you’d expect from classier joints.”

Grindstone Charley’s features steaks, chicken, hand-crafted burgers, artisan salads and sandwiches, scratch made soups, along with a unique wine & cocktail selection. Grindstone Charley’s has four locations in Indiana (Speedway, Rockville Road, Kokomo and Lafayette), and another is on the way. The newest location will be in Westfield, at US 31 and State Road 32. It will serve as the anchor to the new Hampton Inn and is set to open November 2018.

“We couldn’t be more excited about bringing Grindstone Charley’s back to Hamilton County and Westfield,” says Perry Fogelsong.

Clancy’s Inc. will also be opening an expansion of Grindstone’s called Grindstone Public House. Located right in the heart of historic downtown Noblesville, the restaurant will feature favorites from Grindstone Charley’s, using ingredients from local farms and producers. Look for “The Topper” on the menu, a Clancy’s Hamburgers favorite.

“With such a unique location in a historic building, we really have a chance to reinvent ourselves,” Blake says.

For those with a little mangia on your minds, Clancy’s Inc. opened Michaelangelo’s Italian Bistro in the early 1990s. Michaelangelo’s serves a wide range of authentic Italian favorites from Italian subs to pasta dishes like spaghetti, lasagna, fettuccine and build your own pizzas. After 25 years, Michaelangelo’s Italian Bistro just underwent a complete re-design.

“The modern new design and ultrachic aesthetic work perfectly for the space,” Blake Fogelsong says.

The menu also got a makeover and features what Blake describes as “High energy and carefully curated food and beverages.”

Operating three vastly different brands of restaurants can be very challenging, but Clancy’s Inc. has mastered the art smoothly and successfully for more than 50 years.

“Doing three different genres keeps things fun and exciting,” Blake says. “I get to do something new every day.”

No matter how new each day is for Clancy’s Inc., the Fogelsongs still believe in Carl Fogelsong’s original secret to success.

“To stay competitive, it takes great food, excellent hospitality and unique design.”

It’s a secret that’s helped Clancy’s Inc. increase their sales by more than 10 percent each year.

The Fogelsong’s passion and commitment to their restaurants extends to the Noblesville community as well. Not only do they source their food locally, Clancy’s Inc. is a proud participant in Noblesville’s festivals and community events like the Noblesville Street Dance.

Make Grindstone Charley’s, Michaelangelo’s or Clancy’s Hamburgers your favorite hangout. Grindstone Charley’s is located at 5383 West Rockville Rd Indianapolis, Indiana, 5822 Crawfordsville Rd, Speedway, Indiana, 3830 S LaFountain St in Kokomo, Indiana, and 3443 South St. in Lafayette, Indiana. The new Grindstone Charley’s will be located at 17470 Wheeler Road, Westfield, Indiana, and the Grindstone Public House will be located at 101 N. 10th Street,in Noblesville.

Michaelangelo’s Italian Bistro is located at 550 Westfield Road in Noblesville, Indiana. If you’re in Ohio, stop in to the one remaining Clancy’s Hamburgers at 1250 Wapakoneta Ave Sidney, Ohio. Be a fan of Clancy’s Inc., and go on their Facebook page facebook.com/clancysinc/.

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