Still a Staple

New Owner of Syd’s Bar & Grill Completes Renovations

Writer / Renee Larr
Photographer / Sarah Browning

Syd’s Bar & Grill has been a staple of the historic downtown Noblesville landscape in the J.L. Evans Building at the corner of Logan and 8th Streets since 1889. For decades, it has been a local watering hole and restaurant for scores of dedicated fans except from 1909 to 1933, when the government prohibited alcohol sales. The name was changed to Syd’s in 1945. When the previous owner, Rick Robison, was looking to sell the business and retire, a loyal regular customer purchased Syd’s in 2022.Syd’s Bar & Grill

“I own a business that helps people sell their business,” says Brian Knoderer, the new owner. “In those talks, I decided to purchase Syd’s myself from Rick directly. It had a strong history, great community ties, and an awesome atmosphere. It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I knew it would be a great investment and something I would enjoy owning and being involved in.”

The family-friendly establishment recently underwent renovations. Knoderer says normal wear and tear throughout the years meant some updates were needed, but he also wanted to make some strategic improvements.

“Walls needed to be painted and the kitchen needed some updating, but we also intentionally wanted to add more seating to the bar,” he says. “I would see people come in and not have a place to sit, so we expanded the bar seating area and opened the bar more into the family dining area, so it became more inviting to sit there in the evenings.”

Knoderer also added a new bar upstairs that he’s lovingly referring to as the Howdy Bub Lounge. The name is synonymous with the history of the iconic bar. Walter Carey and Sid Gill opened Syd’s in 1945 and installed the shuffleboard table in the middle of the bar. They also coined Syd’s catchphrase – “Howdy Bub.” Every customer was greeted with it when they walked through the door.

“We wanted to embrace the term and use it for the new area upstairs,” Knoderer says. “In the ’70s, that area was a disco bar. It was also used for overflow seating and events, but it was largely an unused area. The Howdy Bub is a lounge-style bar with comfortable seating and higher-end cocktails.”

Syd’s Bar & GrillDuring the renovation process, Knoderer says they found old windows they didn’t know about previously. He says they decided to embrace the exposed brick and stay true to the historical aspect of the building. He says the vibe has slightly changed, but the building has stayed true to its roots. He says the renovations were only scheduled to keep Syd’s closed for 10 days but ended up taking closer to 45.

“One of my biggest concerns with doing the renovations was not changing the culture of Syd’s or its historic nature,” Knoderer says. “It’s so important to our customers. When you walk in, it is a dramatic improvement with updated audio technology and the new bar, but overall our customers have been thrilled with the changes.”

Knoderer says one factor that attracted him to purchasing Syd’s was the family-like atmosphere. He says many of the staff are longtime employees. He says it was important to him to keep the employee and customer relationship strong.

“Some of our customers have been coming here for years, and even their grandparents and parents came here,” Knoderer says. “We wanted to respect that tradition while making Syd’s the best it could be. It feels like Noblesville’s version of ‘Cheers.’”

Syd’s is well-known locally for the Hoosier classic breaded tenderloin. They also offer appetizers, soups, burgers, salads, sandwiches, dinner entrees, and a kid’s menu at affordable pricing. Knoderer says the Syd’s team loves catering to families, which some people may not know. He says since the renovation, they have embraced their family-friendly atmosphere even more. They also just added delivery service and will be adding brunch in the near future.

“We’re going to be hosting some shuffleboard leagues this summer,” Knoderer says. “We plan on having a tent party later in the summer. We’ll have weekly bands, adding trivia night and possibly a comedy night. We do open-mic night every Wednesday night and karaoke every Tuesday night, which we will continue to do. We plan to have a vibrant weekly schedule of events. We recommend everyone follow up on Facebook and Instagram to get updated on our events.”

Knoderer says he’s seen a substantial increase in customers since opening the doors after the renovation. He’s hoping the improvements honor the history and tradition of Syd’s while attracting new customers.Syd’s Bar & Grill

Syd’s is located at 808 Logan Street in downtown Noblesville. For more information, call 317-773-6132 or visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.

Send me your media kit!

hbspt.forms.create({ portalId: "6486003", formId: "5ee2abaf-81d9-48a9-a10d-de06becaa6db" });