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Colts-themed restaurant could reopen with Irsay's aid

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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.

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  • 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!

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