Parks Place Pub was born out of necessity. Owners Matt Schlueter, Remington Ramsey and Matt Whitlow saw the need for a late-night sports bar and restaurant in downtown Fishers.
“We all work in the same location in Fishers,” Schlueter says. “Downtown is so vibrant and awesome, but we don’t have a lot of places to eat or grab a cold beer after work. When Brixx went out, we thought it would be funny if we opened a restaurant there. We kept saying if nobody else is going to do it, then we might as well. We started taking it a little more seriously, and we inquired about the space. After a few months we had a negotiated lease.”
None of the three owners have restaurant experience, and they work full-time jobs in finance and real estate.
“None of us have any restaurant experience, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing,” Schlueter says. “We all have a lot of creative ideas, and we’re not jaded by the industry. We have a fresh perspective on it.”
Those creative ideas were helpful when developing the menu of cocktails and food. Menu items include traditional sports-bar fare like burgers and wings, as well as new, unique items like a fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
“We have some items that will be talking points for Parks Place Pub,” Schlueter says. “We have something called a horseshoe on the menu. It’s a central Illinois thing. It’s an open-faced sandwich served on toast with fries and cheese on it. We took that idea and then put an Indiana spin on it. Our horseshoe has a tenderloin on it instead of a hamburger.”
The group of friends developed the menu based on items that all three owners like to eat while out watching a game.
“We’ve created a menu of items that we are looking to eat when we go to lunch or dinner,” Schlueter says. “We’ll also offer a condensed version of our menu for our late-night menu.”
The interior was torn down to the studs and redesigned to create a comfortable, relaxing environment where Fishers residents can hang out.
“We took out all the bulkheads, which made it so much lighter in there,” Schlueter says. “We took the pizza oven out, which gave us a lot of space. We were able to push the bar back and open up that bar area for more bar-top tables. If you’re coming in and watching a band play or watching a game, you don’t feel like you’re sitting on top of each other.”
Inside, a massive television is a focal point of the restaurant.
“We have a 300-square-foot TV that we just put up,” Schlueter says. “There is a Dow Jones-style ticker that goes around the bar, but instead of stocks, it will show sports scores. In the future, we’ll have garage doors that open to the patio for a fresh-air feel.”
The name of the eatery is a nod to the history of Fishers.
“We were looking for a name for the longest time,” Schlueter says. “When Nickel Plate Bar and Grill shut down, we read in an article that it used to be called Parks Place Saloon back in the 1800s. We saw that article and knew our name had to be Parks Place Pub. It just stuck. We all loved it the first time we heard it. We like to say the pub was 140 years in the making.”
Schlueter sees the potential of the location, with nearby apartments and condos.
“We wanted our place to be somewhere that was walkable for all the new residents in the area,” Schlueter says. “There are so many new apartments and condos going up in the area. It felt like a no-brainer to be in this area of the city.”
Schlueter has high hopes for the bar in the future.
“I hope this is a place residents can be proud of, and I hope for out-of-town visitors it’s a reason to come back to Fishers,” Schlueter says. “I hope visitors get that feel for how vibrant of a city Fishers is. I think people will go to our place and want to move their families and businesses here – not just because of us, but because of how much the city has done to improve this area. We just hope to build on that.”
Before opening, the trio worked on promoting the restaurant on social media.
“It all started as a joke, but then we got more serious about it,” Schlueter says. “I would talk to people in the community and their responses just fueled my fire. It’s going to be a great place.”
Parks Place Pub is located at 8594 East 116th Street, Suite 70 in Fishers. For more information, visit parksplacepub.com.