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<< News >>

National News / Business

Saturday, 18 September, 2010 11:54 PM

Proprietor reopens Indianapolis Steak and Ale as the Polo Club Steakhouse

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Polo Club Steakhouse is open for business at 4302 S. East Street in Indianapolis.
by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

INDIANAPOLIS -- In July 2008, all Steak and Ale restaurants closed abruptly without warning. The parent company, Metromedia Steak Houses, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Carmi Bond was a loyal customer of the restaurant located at 4302 S. East Street on the south side of Indianapolis. He decided to purchase the building and reopen it under a new name, the Polo Club Steakhouse. For those who have dined there in the past, the menu remains the same with a few new additions and the ambience was preserved.

Bond is the owner of the Polo Club Steakhouse and Leah Woolen serves as the general manager.

"We have a lot of the great menu items that were here before that were successful," Bond said. "The Hawaiian Chicken, the Prime Rib, the great salad bar, the wonderful fillets. We've also added a lot of items that have enhanced the menu like Chilean Sea Bass, Stuffed Tilapia, a 20-oz. Texas T-bone, Maker's Mark New York Strip. We've added a lot of nice things to compliment the menu that was here before."

The inside of the Polo Club Steakhouse looks just like it did when it was a Steak and Ale. Everything was preserved from the past including the tables, chairs, salad bar and dim lighting.

"People here in the city love the quiet atmosphere," the owner explained. "They come for special occasions, they come for great, quiet dinners. We have a lot of regular customers that have come here for years. We wanted to keep it as similar as possible."

Bond has added some new special items to compliment the regular menu options.

"We run a Steak and Lobster special periodically, which is a great draw for the restaurant," he added. "We have wonderful, wonderful lobsters. They grill up really nice. We also run a Porterhouse occasionally, the Chilean Sea Bass as a special. It does very, very well."

The Polo Club Steakhouse also offers a lunch and an early evening menu. Both come with unlimited trips to the free salad bar.

"We have an early evening dining menu, which is very popular in this city," Bond responded. "It's from 4 to 6 [p.m.]. It will be Monday through Saturday. It has the salad bar and a lot of great things. We are also open for lunch from 11 [a.m.] to 4 [p.m.]. A lot of trade there from the local businesses that come in. We try to satisfy everyone that we can."

The restaurant is located in the same exact building from when it was a Steak and Ale.

"We're on the south side of Indianapolis, right off U.S. 31 and I-465, right off the interchange, exit 2A," the owner said. "We're in a nice, little strip center called Southern Plaza. That's one of the keys to the success of this. They say, 'Aren't you in the Steak and Ale building?' I say, 'Absolutely!' This is where we're at. They said, 'Oh, I know right where you are.' It's a huge thing for us to recapture that tradition that here's on the south side. This building has been here for over 30 years. It started as The Jolly Ox. A lot of people have been here. I even have an employee who's worked for 30 years in this building."

Bond said business at the Polo Club Steakhouse has been positive since it opened in December 2008.

"It's done pretty well considering the economy and the challenges that are out there with everyone," he responded. "We're not an everyday chain. We're kind of a destination restaurant so very, very pleased with the first two years."

The owner said he may open another Polo Club Steakhouse in the future.

"We will see, maybe in the next year or two," Bond said. "We want to make sure this one is on sound footing and look and see what the market is doing and what the projections are for the restaurant industry before we decide add a second one."

The Steak and Ale brand is resurrecting across the nation. Five other Steak and Ale restaurants have reopened other under names across the country with a similar menu. In addition, Los Angeles-based Global Icons, LLC. is developing a frozen food line with Steak and Ale dishes.

Other former Steak and Ale restaurants that have reopened under new names:

  • Steak and Tavern: 27590 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills, Mich. (248) 929-5387
  • Christopher's Restaurant: 5751 Brainerd Rd., Chattanooga, Tenn. (423) 899-1911
  • Steak and Spirits Restaurant: 990 Charisma Dr., Spartanburg, S.C. (864) 503-0777
  • Jimm's Steakhouse and Pub: 1935 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, Mo. (417) 886-5466
  • Gus's Steak and Ale: 5348 E. Lake Rd., Sheffield Lake, Ohio (44) 949-7553.

Metromedia Steakhouses emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Oct. 14, 2009. The company was renamed Homestyle Dining LLC. In addition, New York-based Atalaya Capital Management bought the Bennigan's and Steak and Ale brands in 2008.

"I think what you'll find is it will evolve, it has to evolve," the Polo Club Steakhouse owner replied. "We have a lot of loyal guests today for the Steak and Ale brand or the atmosphere. We've got to draw new people. Reaching out into grocery stores could be a possibility, enhancing the menus, maybe even adding live music and things like that. We want to take what works and just keep adding to it."

For those who love Hawaiian Chicken or Prime Rib or the Spicy Grilled Chicken Pasta, now there is another place to get it. Don't forget about the unlimited salad bar and the honey wheat bread. Visit the Polo Club Steakhouse at 4302 S. East Street in Indianapolis.

For more information, visit www.poloclubsteakhouse.com or call (317) 780-1711. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, Noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

Related Story: New Steak & Tavern restaurant to open inside former Steak & Ale location in Farmington Hills

Related Story: All Steak and Ale Restaurants Nationwide Disappear Abruptly Including Two in Metro Detroit

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Polo Club Steakhouse was formerly a Steak and Ale restaurant.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The restaurant still has an old Steak and Ale sign on the back of the building.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Lunch and Dinner hours at the Polo Club Steakhouse

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The bar area inside the Polo Club Steakhouse.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The interior of the restaurant has been preserved from when it was Steak and Ale.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The popular salad bar returns at the Polo Club Steakhouse with all of the same options.

 

 

 

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