German eatery planned for former Bent Rail restaurant site

North-side Indianapolis eatery Bent Rail Brewery & Restaurant has closed, but plans are already in the works for a German-themed brewpub to take its place under new ownership.

Friday was the last day of operations for Bent Rail, located at 5301 Winthrop Avenue, south of Broad Ripple along the Monon Trail.

Bent Rail opened in February 2015. Its owners, Derek Means and Craig Baker, also own The Taco Shop, which opened in May at the corner of 9th and Pennsylvania streets; and The Local Eatery & Pub, which opened in Westfield in 2011.

Baker told IBJ that the partners who own Big Lug Canteen in Nora approached him and Means with an offer to purchase the business. Baker and Means decided to accept.

“It’s just a pretty straight business decision,” Baker said.

Big Lug, which will remain open, is located further north along the Monon Trail at 1435 E 86th St.

Big Lug Canteen co-owner Eddie Sahm said he and his business partners have purchased Bent Rail’s restaurant and brewing equipment and have assumed Bent Rail’s lease.

Sahm said he and his partners, Scott Ellis and Ed Sahm (Eddie’s father), will reopen the former Bent Rail site as a German-themed brewpub with a full restaurant. 

The establishment’s name and other details have yet to be determined, Sahm said, but it will be built around the concepts of "fun and creativity" similarly to Big Lug. 

“The same motto will transfer into this new location," he said. "It will just be different food, different drinks, but the same core idea.”

Sahm envisions an outdoor seating area that serves snacks such as pickles, pretzels and bratwurst; maybe a cigar bar; and some spaces that customers could rent for private accommodations.

He said construction on the new site should begin within the next few weeks, with the goal of opening for business in early summer.

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