Casual-dining chain to test new concepts in Fishers, Noblesville

March 7, 2014
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A high-profile-yet-long-vacant former Bennigan’s restaurant along Interstate 69 in Fishers is slated to be torn down this spring to make way for Bubba’s 33—a new pizza/burgers/beer concept from casual dining chain Texas Roadhouse Inc.

If that’s not enough, the Louisville-based company also is planning a fast-food restaurant called Jaggers for the Prairie Lakes retail center at 146th Street and State Road 37 in Noblesville.

A corporate spokesman didn’t respond to an inquiry from IBJ, but public records provided a peek at the plans.

As proposed, Bubba’s 33 would occupy a new 8,700-square-foot building, slightly larger than the existing restaurant. Vacant for at least five years, the building at 9770 North by Northeast Blvd. is attached to an AmericInn limited-service hotel. When it’s rebuilt, the restaurant will be separate.
No outdoor seating is planned, but the prototype Bubba’s in Fayetteville, N.C., features entire walls made of overhead garage doors that are opened when weather allows. (Odds are that’s a little more often there than it will be here.)

The North Carolina location, which opened last summer, specializes in stone-baked pizzas, fresh-ground burgers and whistle-whetting beer served at an icy 33 degrees.

The restaurant’s name is a nod to its everyman appeal. “There’s a little bit of Bubba in all of us,” according to the menu. (Fun fact: Its namesake burger is made with 33 percent bacon.)
Just seven miles north of the future Bubba’s 33—honk at the old-school Texas Roadhouse in between—is the future Jaggers, described in a sign variance request as the first of its kind.

Texas Roadhouse “has specifically and strategically selected Noblesville for their flagship location for this concept,” wrote Emily Bernahl of Illinois-based design firm GreenbergFarrow.

Renderings of the proposed 3,400-square-foot building show a drive-through and hint at its menu staples: chicken, burgers and salads. (No word on the bacon content.)

Jaggers is planned for 1.8 acres of vacant land at 14570 Mundy Drive, one of three remaining out lots in the Marsh-anchored development.

Publicly traded Texas Roadhouse has more than 400 family-friendly steakhouses in 49 states. But this isn’t the first time the Louisville-based company has looked across the Ohio River to test a concept. Founder Kent Taylor opened the original Texas Roadhouse 21 years ago in Clarksville, Ind.

Company leaders think the steakhouse chain could grow to as many as 800 locations over time—25 to 30 openings are planned for 2014—but President Scott Colosi told analysts last month that trying new ideas is important for the staff and the business alike.

"We recognize there's always a risk when you go to multiple concepts," he said without providing any specifics of the company's plans. But "we think that risk is well worth looking at."

He said any new concepts would have to fit the Texas Roadhouse mold, with "scratch-based food, a high level of service and a high level of energy and fun."

"Those are the types of things we would think about if we were going to do something else," he said.

  • YES!
    YES! Another chain! Nothing, but the best for all-original Fishers, IN! Happy that I moved out.
    • Wallbanger - glad you got left
      Glad you left too! Bring on Bubba's! Fishers Resident
    • Tax bribe?
      Did Fishers divert any tax money to bribe the company into locating here?
    • Good Riddance Wallbanger
      Wallbanger: Although I don't live in Fishers, I'm sure I speak for the citizens of Fishers when I say that Fishers is a better place without your negativity. I'm sure they're "happy that [you] moved out."
      • What Chains?
        Wallbanger - Bubba's 33 is not a chain. Only one other location exists. How is that a chain? Your comment has no merit. Enjoy living in your mystical magical town full of all-original eateries.
      • Just curious
        Did Texas Roadhouse say if they are purchasing that building and land from its current owner, or are they leasing it?
      • Both Restaurants are Part of a Chain
        Please see end of first paragraph - Bubba’s 33—a new pizza/burgers/beer concept from casual dining chain Texas Roadhouse Inc. Jaggers is a part of Texas Roadhouse Inc. too.
      • Later!
        Glad you are gone Wallbanger. And so are the 1950's when most restaurants were mom and pop. Welcome to modern America.

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      1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

      2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

      3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

      4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

      5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.