Snooty Fox restaurant closes after 29 years

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The venerable Snooty Fox restaurant on Indianapolis’ north side has closed despite efforts by a cable television show to revitalize the English-style pub.

Owner Tim Queisser shut down the restaurant on Monday after a 29-year run on East 86th Street in Nora.

The restaurant's dwindling business could be the result of a variety of reasons, including a recent menu change, bad pricing descisions or simply poor management, Queisser speculated.

“I can’t say it’s the economy, because there are too many restaurants doing well,” he said.

Queisser, 57, attempted to reverse a trend of declining sales the past few years by agreeing to a makeover by the Food Network’s “Restaurant Impossible” show with TV chef Robert Irvine.

The show spent $10,000 in two days in May to improve the restaurant’s decor and menu.

The Snooty Fox couldn’t maintain the short-term boost it received from the show, which aired in early August.

“I went from doing great business until the last four weeks,” Queisser said. “It was like someone turned a light switch off.”

The restaurant’s traditional menu of soups, salads, steaks, seafood and sandwiches expanded after the show’s remake to include such appetizers as corned beef egg roll and cod cakes, as well as entrees such as bangers and mash and shepherd’s pie to better reflect the English atmosphere.

Queisser now is attempting to sell or lease the building that housed the restaurant he and his brother, Quentin, founded in 1983.
An Indianapolis native and Butler University graduate, Queisser said he and his brother followed their father into the restaurant business.

He hopes to land a job in the hospitality industry because “it’s what I know.”

Despite the closing, Queisser said he’s proud of the nearly three decades he operated in Indianapolis amid increasing competition from chain restaurants.

The Snooty Fox had 25 employees.

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