Eddy’s, a place where everyone knows your name
By Mark Ambrogi
For Joe Evans, the neighborhood part of Eddy’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill really rings true.
“It’s like ‘Cheers’ — you come in the door and everyone says hey,” said the Geist resident, referring to the TV comedy about the Boston bar where everybody knows your name. “You feel warm when you come in. They take good care of us.”
Owner Dave Stringer, 53, had been partners with Scott Foster for about 10 years but bought out Foster in late October to become the sole owner off the Geist restaurant (11693 Fall Creek Rd). Foster and his wife Heather plan to spend more time in Clearwater, Fla. Stringer has been in the restaurant business since he was 15.
“I’ve done it full time for probably 30 years now,” said Stringer, who worked for Grindstone Charley’s chain for 10 years. “I had a place called Stringer’s in Greenwood, which I owned with the Grindstone Charley’s chain. I spent a few years at the Keystone Grill. Did some work with Houlihan’s through Grindstone Charley’s as they also owned some Houlihan’s franchises at one point.”
Scott Brown has lived in the community for 20 years and been coming in since Eddy’s first opened. Eddy’s celebrated its 20th anniversary in January.
“The neighborhood pub is a dying breed and these guys have done a good job of making it welcoming so people can come in there,” Brown said. “There is a nice mix of regulars and other people from the various neighborhoods and it’s always a good time. We enjoy it and we’ll keep coming back.”
Evans and his fiancee Lori Perryman often come in more than once a week.
Perryman brings her 92-year-old grand-aunt (Juanita Sibert), who is in a nursing home, to Eddy’s once or twice a month.
“They just make her queen for the day when she comes here,” Perryman said. “It’s awesome.”
Perryman said her mom died two years ago.
“They catered my mom’s wake for free,” Perryman said. “That’s just the kind of people they are. We had a really good friends whose dog drowned in the lake this summer and they made a donation in the dog’s name to the Purdue Veterinary Clinic. They just care about their customers.”
Perryman said that Eddy’s does a food drive for the community. Perryman’s friend Shelley Hobbs, who used to live near Eddy’s but now lives in Pendleton, comes once a week with her husband. Hobbs actually worked for Stringer as hostess at Grindstone Charley’s.
“We have to come in and see Sarah (Elizondo) every week, the best bartender in town,” Hobbs said.
Stringer can name many of his customers by name.
“I would guess 95 percent of our customers come from within five miles of here,” Stringer said.
Stringer hasn’t made many changes since he became sole owner.
“We’re set up to operate successfully so we’ll just continue to refine what we’re doing and try to do a better job all the time taking care of people,” he said. “We want to keep our menu fresh. We switch our menu a couple of times a year.”
In the summertime, Stringer said there is room for 21 tables on the restaurant’s huge patio.
“It’s a great place to come relax in the good weather,” Stringer said of the patio. “We have an over-sized golf cart and if they call us we’ll go down and get them at the dock. Or they can call in a to-go order and we’ll deliver it to the dock.”
Stringer said the restaurant has several long-term employees, including kitchen operations manager Andy Walton, who has been with Eddy’s for 12 years.
“He does an tremendous job,” Stringer said.
Stringer’s daughter Jessica serves as the manager.
“My daughter has worked here off and on for about six years,” Stringer said.
Meet Dave Stringer
Age: 53. Single with two children, Adam, 25, works for General Electric in Louisville and daughter Jessica, 23, works as Eddy’s manager.
Resides: Morgantown, Ind.
Favorite way to relax: When I’m not here I spend a lot of time in my yard, working on my garden in the summer time or my landscape. I live on a 15-acre so I spend quite a bit of time just fishing and relaxing. It’s real quiet down there.
Favorite TV show: I love sports so if I’m watching TV, it’s usually sports. I’m a big fan of Indiana Hoosiers basketball. I try to get to see as many games as I can of that. If I’m watching late-night TV, it’s usually ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.’
What do you love about the restaurant business: It’s just a business you get to mingle, meet and interact with people all the time. It’s very satisfying, you are meeting people’s needs. I love the people. That’s my favorite part.