An iconic Fishers restaurant known for its giant pork tenderloin sandwiches and its historic downtown building is set to close later this month after 28 years in operation.
Nickel Plate Bar & Grill, which has operated on East 116th Street since 1991, will close April 20, its owners announced Monday afternoon on Facebook.
The building, 8654 E. 116th St., is being sold to Indianapolis-based Browning Investments as it begins work on a $157 million development project that will transform both sides of 116th Street. As a result, Lux Restaurant Group, which owns the Nickel Plate, has decided to close the restaurant.
The future of the restaurant has been uncertain since the project was announced, and rumors began circulating that it would close. The restaurant opened its doors long before the area was redeveloped into a bustling downtown.
In 1991, the town of Fishers has just more than 12,000 residents. Today, the city has more than 90,000.
Browning and the city of Fishers have said the building will not be demolished as part of the project. Instead, funding is being earmarked for renovations to enhance the building, which was first constructed in the 1880s and was once home to Parks Place Saloon.
“The city of Fishers and Browning will work together to (ensure) the building is not only preserved but is home to another great restaurant for our community,” the restaurant said on Facebook.
The restaurant's pork tenderloin sandwich was named best in the state by Indy Men's Magazine in 2005. The eatery also is known for its Hobo Stew and the exposed brick that makes up its interior. Travel website Trip Advisor ranks the restaurant No. 3 out of 154 rated restaurants in Fishers.
The restaurant gets its name from the Nickel Plate Railroad line, which runs immediately west of the building and is set to be converted to a multi-use trail.
“We have enjoyed serving our guests over the years,” the restaurant said in its Facebook post. “We truly appreciate all of you and the great memories. We hope to see as many of you as possible before the 20th! It has been a pleasure being part of Fishers, watching us grow and prosper. We have enjoyed the ride.”
In an email to IBJ, the city of Fishers said preserving the building was key to the development.
"Lux Restaurants has made the business decision to sell the Nickel Plate Bar & Grill (building and name) to Browning and as a result of this transition, the restaurant will close during construction," the city said. "The Nickel Plate Bar & Grill is a Fishers tradition and the intent has always been that the restaurant building remain as one of the cornerstones of the development with funding dedicated to its rehabilitation no matter the owner of the building. The city of Fishers and Browning will work together to ensure the building is not only preserved but is home to another restaurant for our community, continuing the storied tradition of this iconic and historical building."