Colts-themed restaurant could reopen with Irsay's aid

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The operator of an Indianapolis Colts-themed restaurant that closed Thursday is hoping he can reopen soon with the help of the team’s owner.

Jim Irsay has pledged to throw Blue Crew Sports Grill owner Randy Collins a lifeline by paying his rent until the football season starts in September, Collins said.

The landlord of the restaurant at 7035 E. 96th Street locked its doors after Collins’ debt reached about $75,000 in unpaid rent.

Collins signed a 10-year lease when he and two business partners opened in October 2006, He said he pays about $8,400 in rent per month.

Negotiations are under way with landlord Monroe Realty to reopen the restaurant with the help of Irsay’s gift. A lawyer for the landlord couldn't be reached for comment Friday morning.

“To get me into football season, that’s a very, very generous thing for him to do,” Collins said of Irsay’s gesture.” I don’t think there’s any business that’s supported him more. “I’m a good ambassador for the Colts.”

Collins said Irsay learned of the Blue Crew’s situation through social media. A post on the restaurant’s Facebook page Thursday morning alerted patrons of the closing.

In response, Irsay tweeted Thursday night: "Randy called me and said."..Got mashed potatoes...can't get no T-Bone!!!.."..so I said we'll float that rent fer a little bit n keep rockin'."

Collins said he assumed sole ownership of the restaurant after he and business partners Dan Dilbeck and Everett Myers opened the 4,000-square-foot restaurant nearly seven years ago.

Collins operates a construction business on the side, which has helped to keep his restaurant operating. He said Blue Crew has never been profitable and, if it reopens, changes may need to be made.

“We need to buckle down a little bit,” he said. “I do have to give better service to my customers; better daily specials.”

The restaurant was outfitted floor to ceiling with Colts memorabilia, big-screen televisions and a huge horseshoe-shaped bar.

If it reopens, Collins hopes more primetime Colts games this year will help lure more customers to the restaurant.


  • Easy fix
    Reading the comments above, one could reasonably conclude that Randy doesn't own a television, nor has he ever heard of reality t.v. shows such as "Bar Rescue" (as mentioned above), "Kitchen Nightmares" or "Restaurant: Impossible". If I were him I'd get Taffer, Ramsey or Irvine on the phone A.S.A.P. and pray they all show up at the same time.
  • Call...
    ...Jon Taffer and "Bar Rescue."
  • Basics
    Landlord screwed the tennent. Landlord did not willingly adjust to maintain a good relationship Tenant was stupid. They should work it out. Not that jimmy doesn't have the money, it does not speak well for the quality of business transactions and the players involved.
  • Both the menu and the fod were bad
    Sometimes we would go up on a Friday night,their tenderloins were the only thing thing that was good on the menu.We stopped going because the food and service was so bad. However ,the owner would always come by and say hi,which was nee.But..if his kitchen cant produce good food,his god personality cant save the place.I bet Irsay makes some positive changes there. The business model is good one,it's fun sports bar,but they have to have better food and better service
  • Awful....
    I am sure these are nice owners...but the food is terrible....the service is apathetic at best. This place needs a complete menu redo...get rid of all the Sysco frozen low end crap....serve mostly local craft beers...train your servers to know the menu and libation offerings inside and out...train them to deliver silverware and condiments BEFORE the lousy food arrives...train them to not wipe of tables with filthy towells. Have a frequent lunch program with healthy options and sane portions. Social market the place every day...get patrons email addresses and birthdays...invite kids from the local culinary schools to cook and make up "their menu"... Unfortunately, they have "taught" their customers to only come during colts games...because the food, service, beers and wines don't invite you to come at other times.
  • aye carumba
    Socialism at work.
  • Have another one...
    Wow, Garland, it is easy to see how out of touch you are!
  • Great business plan
    A bar open targeting events for 16 days of the year? STUPID. I think I'm going to open the IMS "First Turn Bar & Grill"...I think 3 days a year of target audience should be enough to keep the doors open. I wonder if Tony George would be interested and floating my rent? Randy should stick to pounding nails and Irsay should stick to preserving the wealth his father created. The inevitable failure of this bad idea is near.
  • bad theme
    Think about it. When the Colts are in season, the place fills up on Sundays. The other six days a week, and out of season, it's just another bar on the far northside. Those come and go regularly. As to Mr. Irsay's contribution, it's his money and he may do with it as he wishes. The comment about team owners extorting money from the city is from someone who doesn't see what professional sports has done for Indianapolis or doesn't like sports. By the way, nobody goes to the symphony. That's why it doesn't do well. Wanna see the Blue Crew die again, even faster? Have a live feed of the symphony piped in there. All 10 patrons will trample each other running for the nearest exit.
  • maybe
    If not Irsay why not see if he has any cronies that would want to be a silent partner.
  • Still haven't learned...
    The failed owner of this business still hasn't learned..."changes may need to be made" Are you kidding me? This place will be back out of business in no time!
  • Feel Good Story
    It's nice to see Colts and Pacers ownership making token gestures of kicking back some of the extortion money the city pays every year to keep them here. First the symphony. Now this. What next? Yes sir...the $35 million-plus in payola that we lavish on our beloved teams sure goes a long way in the community. Why, there must be DOZENS of people who benefit! DOZENS I tell you!

    Post a comment to this story

    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. I am a Lyft driver who is a licensed CDL professional driver. ALL Lyft drivers take pride in providing quality service to the Indianapolis and surrounding areas, and we take the safety of our passengers and the public seriously.(passengers are required to put seat belts on when they get in our cars) We do go through background checks, driving records are checked as are the personal cars we drive, (these are OUR private cars we use) Unlike taxi cabs and their drivers Lyft (and yes Uber) provide passengers with a clean car inside and out, a friendly and courteous driver, and who is dressed appropriately and is groomed appropriately. I go so far as to offer mints, candy and/or small bottle of water to the my customers. It's a mutual respect between driver and passenger. With Best Regards

    2. to be the big fish in the little pond of IRL midwest racin' when yer up against Racin' Gardner

    3. In the first sentance "As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss are build quality & price." need a way to edit

    4. As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss is build quality & price. First none of these places is worth $1100 for a one bedroom. Downtown Carmel or Keystone at the Crossing in Indy. It doesn't matter. All require you to get in your car to get just about anywhere you need to go. I'm in one of the Carmel apartments now where after just 2.5 short years one of the kitchen cabinet doors is crooked and lawn and property maintenance seems to be lacking my old Indianapolis apartment which cost $300 less. This is one of the new star apartments. As they keep building throughout the area "deals" will start popping up creating shoppers. If your property is falling apart after year 3 what will it look like after year 5 or 10??? Why would one stay here if they could move to a new Broad Ripple in 2 to 3 years or another part of the Far Northside?? The complexes aren't going to let the "poor" move in without local permission so that's not that problem, but it the occupancy rate drops suddenly because the "Young" people moved back to Indy then look out.

    5. Why are you so concerned about Ace hardware? I don't understand why anyone goes there! Every time ive gone in the past, they don't have what I need and I end up going to the big box stores. I understand the service aspect and that they try to be helpful but if they are going to survive I think they might need to carry more specialty parts.