Union Jack Pub Opens New Westfield Location
Photographer / Kelli White
Union Jack Pub, a fixture of the Broad Ripple restaurant and pub scene for more than 40 years, has launched a second location in Westfield, and co-owner Chelsey Wetzel says despite the current pandemic, the expansion is a welcome development for devotees of the establishment.
“We’ve always known that we wanted something beyond Broad Ripple,” says Wetzel, who co-owns the English-style pub with her husband Jay, a southside Indy native. “That’s definitely our staple and we love it, but we’ve been hearing from our customers for years who live north and south about another location – especially people who lived in Broad Ripple in the ‘90s but don’t live there anymore.”
The Wetzels began searching for a northside location last year, and were struck by the growth and sense of community in the Westfield area. In November of 2019 they chose a space on Union Street within walking distance of the upcoming Grand Park Plaza, which Wetzel feels will contribute to a strong local customer base.
“I’m such a gut-feeling person, and we looked at a lot of places like Noblesville, but when we walked into the Westfield space on Union Street, I just knew within five minutes that this is it,” says Wetzel, who grew up in a small town in Wisconsin.
The Wetzels signed a lease for the Westfield space in February of this year, and originally planned for a public opening in May. The pandemic eventually prompted the owners to push the grand opening until September, and Wetzel says excitement surrounding the space did not flag despite the delay.
“After the shutdowns in March we focused on our Broad Ripple location, making sure we kept it stable and kept people employed,” she says. “We started reopening everything in late April. In May and June we started to prep with painting, redecorating and getting equipment ordered, and things like that.”
The new pub, which sits in a space formerly occupied by Grand Junction Brewing Co., officially opened on September 17.
“It’s got age and character – all the things we are,” Wetzel says of the new location. “It was kind of a whirlwind getting it ready and opening up, but we’re excited.”
The pub features the same menu as the original Broad Ripple location, including starters like Bavarian pretzel bread sticks, pulled pork nachos, and spinach and artichoke con queso. Salads, soups, sandwiches, wraps and burgers are also available, as well as entrees like fish and chips, pasta and chicken fingers.
The pizza menu features Union Jack’s well-known deep dish, in addition to thin crust, gluten-free, specialty, and personal pan pizza options. The pub’s unique brunch selection features Scotch eggs, breakfast nachos, pizza, waffles, omelets, wraps and more.
Wetzel says the Westfield location is not currently offering carry-out orders, but will possibly do so in the winter months.
“The volume has been so crazy that our kitchen can’t handle carry-out, which I guess is a good problem to have,” she says with a laugh. “Broad Ripple still offers carry-out, and I think we’ll get there eventually at Westfield. Everyone’s been so supportive – we cannot believe the level of support that we’ve had. The City of Westfield has been awesome and easy to work with too. We have no complaints.”
After attending Purdue University and obtaining an English degree, Wetzel worked in publishing, while Jay worked in the graphic design field. Through the years Jay developed an interest in craft beer and became intrigued by the possibility of owning his own brewery or pub establishment.
“The former owner of the Union Jack Broad Ripple location is my mother-in-law’s best friend, and Jay talked to her for years about the concept and what it would take to run your own place,” Wetzel says. “When she was ready to retire, she came to him and asked how serious he was.”
That former owner, Brenda Rising-Moore, let the Wetzels take the helm at the pub in 2013 for one full year before they signed on the dotted line to become official owners. The couple dug in and learned everything they could about the business, and became the official owners of Union Jack Pub on January 1 of 2014.
Wetzel says the new location is likely to please both Westfield locals and Union Jack fans throughout central Indiana.
“It’s nice to be right across the street from the amphitheater construction and everything going on,” she says. “Grand Park will be great for breakfast mornings, and lunches when there are tournaments and things. It’s really a sky-is-the-limit type of community. We’re excited.”