It’s a little off in the distance, but an established downstate restaurant chain has its sights set squarely on our area.
Stacked Pickle, a sports bar and restaurant with eight locations in Indianapolis and another in West Lafayette, wants in on downtown Mishawaka. Owner Gary Brackett confirmed the plan is to be an anchor tenant on the ground floor of The Mill at Ironworks Plaza, a development just south of Beutter Park that will include 232 apartments.
“There’s a lot of opportunity that I feel like are really converging on downtown Mishawaka,” Brackett said. “Then when you look at the demographics of the area, I feel like our store will definitely fit a nice niche in that area and hopefully be everyone’s neighborhood hangout.”
Brackett spent nine years as a middle linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts. He started in two Super Bowls, winning one, and piled up over 700 career tackles before bowing out of the league after the 2011 season.
Since then Brackett has gone on to start Brackett Restaurant Group. He bought the Stacked Pickle brand from a partner and took it over outright three years ago.
“My first job ever was a dish boy,” Brackett said. “I had a very intimate knowledge of restaurants. I’ve always been a people person, so I was always looking for a way to monetize my brand. This kind of just made sense for me. After I got involved and was successful, I took over the whole thing.”
Brackett thinks putting a corporate store — franchising is an option as of this spring — in our part of the state could be a springboard to greater expansion. He’d like to get into Illinois, Michigan and Ohio eventually.
Stacked Pickle bills itself as a “neighborhood bar” with big televisions to watch sports, live music and family seating. Hamburgers, chicken tacos and chicken wings are some of the items the menu emphasizes.
Brackett sees Stacked Pickle as all encompassing. It’s not just a wings destination or a burger joint. Plus he noted there’s nothing quite like it in that part of Mishawaka.
“I think we can compete very well with the burger stores,” Brackett said. “Then we have over 14 flavors in our wing sauces. I think we compete with the wing spots. But we’re all under one roof.”
It’ll be awhile, however, before Brackett gets rolling up here.
Ground hasn’t yet broken on The Mill at Ironworks Plaza. Brian Prince, a developer with Indianapolis-based firm Flaherty & Collins Properties overseeing the project, said they’re optimistic that’ll happen by the end of August or early September.
The estimated completion of the entire development is 20 months from breaking ground. That would be in winter 2018. Retail could be ready about six months sooner, Prince said.
They’re continuing to try to attract more businesses.
“We’ve seen a lot of momentum and fielded a lot of calls since we signed Gary up,” said Prince, who compared Stacked Pickle to Scotty’s Brewhouse at a lower price point. “I’m sure as more media coverage is given to this, it will just increase the excitement to the area for future retail opportunities as well.”
Banks, coffee shops, sandwich restaurants or pizza places are among the ideal fits for those locations. Getting construction underway should boost momentum.
“We’ve had a lot of interest,” said John Jessen, a senior broker for Bradley Co. in South Bend. “I think some people have been a little hesitant just because they haven’t broken ground yet. We’re hoping to really shore things up as the project progresses.”