Gary Brackett closes Stacked Pickle sports bar chain

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Former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Gary Brackett announced Wednesday that he is shutting down his Stacked Pickle chain of sports bars, saying that the pandemic’s uncertainty combined with lost business and a lack of sports events left him with no viable options but to close.

Stacked Pickle lists 10 locations on its website—nine in Indiana and one in Dayton.

Stacked Pickle was founded by Chris Long and the first restaurant opened in 2010. Brackett became a partner and eventually bought out Long in 2014 as Brackett Restaurant Group LLC.

“It has truly been an amazing run,” Brackett said on Twitter.

Brackett serves as the company’s president and CEO.

“Over the last 10 years, we have built not only business relationships, but true friendships with our customers, employees, and vendors,” Brackett said in a post on the chain’s website. “It has always been our goal to not just be another restaurant, but to be a destination for those looking for an affordable family meal, a quick drink or just a place to enjoy a big game or socialize with others. In other words, we wanted to be part of the community we served.”

Gary Brackett (IBJ file photo)

In June 29, Brackett Restaurant Group closed CharBlue Steak & Seafood, a restaurant and bar that operated at 14 E. Washington St., starting in late 2016. Before that, Brackett operated Georgia Reese’s Southern Table & Bar for about 18 months at that site.

In 2018, Brackett announced that he would start offering Stacked Pickle franchises, but it’s not clear whether any of the current locations are franchises.

Brackett played as a linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts for nine seasons, including in a win over the Chicago Bears at Super Bowl XLI in 2007.

The Stacked Pickle closure is the latest of several since the pandemic hit Indiana in March—and there will likely be more.

Other closures have included the upscale Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in the Keystone at the Crossing area, which announced the move on Friday; Brugge Brasserie at 1011 E. Westfield Blvd., which closed last week; Fishers-based Redemption Alewerks, which announced on April 29 that it would permanently close; and Next Door at 4573 N. College Ave. which said in March that it would not reopen.

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16 thoughts on “Gary Brackett closes Stacked Pickle sports bar chain

  1. So sorry Gary!!!

    You’re a good man and like many fell victim to the fraud upon us.

    The Stacked Pickle, one of my most favorite restaurants to go to around town will be sorely missed!

    Thank you for the great experiences and fun times at the Stacked Pickle!

    Those big tenderloins and fried pickles with the dips, still will always sound good! I hope we will see The Stacked Pickle again!

    God Bless!!!

    1. What fraud are you speaking of? I didn’t see the closure being due to fraud. Do tell

  2. Stop the shutdown! Only herd immunity works and quarantine and shutdowns do just the opposite. And of course it shuts down one business after another.

  3. I am always amazed at the all comments offered on IBJ by armchair epidemiologists!

    It is unfortunate that Mr. Brackett needs to shut down his chain.

    That being said, the “herd immunity” of which you speak is only found among those rooting against the Colts.

    1. Hmm, well, epidemiologists are rarely also skilled economists. There’s a point when you exercise maximum precaution when the potential virulence of a new virus is unknown. The current virus is now less new, and therefore less unknown. A response akin to the Black Plague is wretchedly excessive, given that a more mild quarantine for high-risk and sick people (the correct definition of “quarantine”) would allow the economy to limp along–rather than to stop–and would ensure the country is better prepared with resources to help the neediest. The fact that we’re driving at least 30 Million Americans into unemployment and poverty is a definitive sign that the epidemiologists’ treatment is worse than the disease.

  4. Covid is real, but so is the fraud.
    Follow the money and look at the politics.
    Blame China and those in our government who look for power by making this a crisis.

  5. Gary, Nothing can take the place of your commitment as a successful business entrepreneur. The decisions you make today will make a better you tomorrow. Wishing you the best!

  6. Unfortunately, many more restaurants and small businesses will close for good. My hope is that as we tame the virus and create a better, more proactive approach to the next one (if and when that occurs) … that blanket shutdowns are not part of the solution. I do understand why we shut down, but it is time to smartly and gradually get back to some semblance of normal. As tragic as losing lives to the virus is, the costs to both economic and personal health due to shutting things down and huddlng inside, will be felt long after the virus is gone.

  7. Thanks to the media encouraging fear, even when the lockdown ends, it will be a long time for the economy to come back. This lockdown has done nothing but instill fear and ruin the economy. I said from the beginning, that I was worried about the businesses and how it would affect us. I think if we just did the social distancing, gloves, disinfecting everything, and common sense… that we could have acheived similar results. According to the Times magazine, most of the people who died already were either elderly or had a compromised immune system to begin with. Most of the healthy people who caught Covid didnt even have to go to the hospital. Why couldnt we have just quarantined those people and their families?

    1. The shutdown was to protect the healthcare system from being overwhelmed. To think people will practice precautionary measures (distancing, masks, etc) voluntarily is naive. Even when told we should by public health officials and your boogeyman the media, many still don’t do these things. The very attitudes of some of the comments show that a large percentage of people think it’s all blown out of proportion. But, I’m guessing those who have that attitude have not had anyone close to them gravely ill or dead from COVID.

  8. Gary is a nice guy but unfortunately he just didn’t have the right people around him for operating a successful restaurant company. He was blinded by trying to blow it up with franchising and didn’t have any focus on the daily operational aspects of what leads to long-term success. Plain and simple – the place was below par with food and service. You can blame Covid all you want and maybe it did help speed up the process but this is just the natural thinning of the herd.