The Times photo by Betsy Reason // Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear (fourth from left) and Noblesville Common Council member Brian Ayer (left) join the Fogelsongs - Perry Fogelsong (third from left) and his sisters, Annette Cunion (second from left) and Becky Reynolds (second from right), and his son, Blake Fogelsong (right) --  to celebrate the opening of the Fogelsong family’s new restaurant, Grindstone Public House on the corner of Ninth and Logan streets in downtown Noblesville. The restaurant has its grand opening today.
The Times photo by Betsy Reason // Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear (fourth from left) and Noblesville Common Council member Brian Ayer (left) join the Fogelsongs - Perry Fogelsong (third from left) and his sisters, Annette Cunion (second from left) and Becky Reynolds (second from right), and his son, Blake Fogelsong (right) -- to celebrate the opening of the Fogelsong family’s new restaurant, Grindstone Public House on the corner of Ninth and Logan streets in downtown Noblesville. The restaurant has its grand opening today.

A Noblesville family with a long history in the restaurant business has opened a new eatery in downtown Noblesville.

The Fogelsongs -- Perry Fogelsong and his sisters, Annette Cunion and Becky Reynolds, and Perry’s son, Blake Fogelsong -- are the owners of the new Grindstone Public House.

With the opening comes Clancy’s Topper, a hamburger that was popular at Clancy’s Hamburgers, the Fogelsongs’ former fast-food restaurant in Noblesville.

Grindstone Public House has been long-awaited, say invited guests who on Saturday attended a special friends-and-family celebration.

Noblesville Common Council member and Realtor Brian Ayer and his wife, Toni, were on a guest list that also included Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear, who led a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The Ayers both ordered the Topper. Brian Ayer had fries with it, and Toni had coleslaw. They also had a Crab Dip appetizer.

“The food was wonderful,” he said. “(The) Topper was a bit larger than I remember from the Clancy days.”

The double-stacked Topper burgers feature American cheese, shredded lettuce, house tartar sauce and double-deck bun.

“We always wanted to bring it back on the menu,” Perry Fogelsong said.

The new upscale Topper is $9. “The burger patties are larger than the Topper Clancy’s had, the meat is higher quality, the bun is better,” he said.

Perry Fogelsong and his sisters and son greeted invited guests Saturday, as kitchen staff was busy whipping up creations from an abbreviated menu that expands today to a full menu of more than 40 food choices. The restaurant’s official grand opening for the public is at 11 a.m. today.

“They did a great job in the renovation and decor. Since we only live a block away, we will be frequent patrons and welcome a new dining choice downtown,” Ayer said. “I’m happy that a local family with a long history in the restaurant business decided to open a second location with a new theme.”

The Fogelsongs also own Michaelangelo’s Italian Bistro on the west side of Noblesville.

The new Grindstone Public House is at the northwest corner of 10th and Logan streets, the former location of The Ville and, before that, Eddie’s Corner Cafe.

The opening comes just in time for the Noblesville Fourth of July Parade that travels on Logan Street right by the Public House, which offers bar seating with expansive window views for the parade.

The Fogelsongs have wanted to open a new restaurant in Noblesville for some time. And it seemed perfect when this location became available. “We love everything about the historic downtown feel,” Perry Fogelsong said.

The late Carl Fogelsong, Perry Fogelsong’s dad, founded Clancy's Inc. in Noblesville in 1965. He had a vision for fast-food restaurants in small midwestern towns, serving a basic menu of quality hamburgers, drinks and “the best French fries in town.”

The first restaurant, formerly at 100 S. 10th St., had the first double drive-thru in the Midwest. The eatery served customers until its closing on Dec. 19, 2004. The building was torn down, and the City put up a parking lot.

At one point, Clancy's had 31 fast-food locations in a four-state area. Perry Fogelsong, after graduating from Indiana University, joined the company when the first Grindstone Charley's opened in 1982 in Noblesville, just west of Riverview Health, where the Walgreens is now located. He proposed the idea of repurposing some of the Clancy’s Hamburgers properties into casual-dining restaurants. The Fogelsongs had gone on a trip to Grindstone City, Michigan, with Carl Fogelsong’s best friend, Charley, with them. Over some good food and wine, Grindstone Charley’s was born. Grindstone Charley's locations are still in Kokomo, Lafayette, Rockville Road and Speedway. One Clancy's Hamburgers still remains, in Sidney, Ohio.

A third generation of Fogelsongs joined the team in 2010, with Blake Fogelsong, who graduated from Ball State University. Blake Fogelsong has been instrumental in the development of Grindstone Public House, and a new Grindstone Charley’s coming soon in Westfield at 17470 Wheeler Road, on the Monon Trail.

The opening of Grindstone Public House comes just in time for the Noblesville Fourth of July Parade that travels on Logan Street right by the Public House, which offers expansive window views from bar seating.

“The goal was to always do a new restaurant downtown,” said Perry Fogelsong, president and CEO of Clancy’s Inc. “Clancy’s had this nostalgia effect for so many people. It brings back childhood memories, so many people have approached us about wanting it back.”

Perry Fogelsong said, “When the space that Grindstone Public House is in became available, it felt like a Grindstone Charley’s-type space. We know so many people miss Clancy’s Hamburgers, but this felt like the right concept to do in the space.”

They selected Phanomen as the design firm and posed the question: “Can you make this cool?”

Phanomen took a fresh approach to the Grindstone Charley’s brand and the historic elements of the building by adding a contemporary edge, said Taryn Titus, graduate architect.

“Our approach was to use the historic space to our advantage, it already had such great character that we were excited to work with. We opened up the space allowing patrons to experience the rich colors and dynamic design while the wood furniture and bar keep the space casual. Old photographs line the walls evoking a sense of community and nostalgia, while the eye-catching light fixtures and bold finishes make the space truly unique,” Titus said.

The Fogelsongs decided on the name “public house,” meaning “community, a neighborhood gathering place,” Perry Fogelsong said.

Then, they hired executive chef Carrie Nickelsberg, who comes from Wild Eggs and Bravo, and who has been crafting the menu over the past eight months. The menu features everything from fried-green tomatoes and crab cakes, to spinach patch and sirloin-steak salads, to a Farmhouse burger topped with bacon, pulled pork and a sunny-side-up egg, pork tenderloins and fried-bologna sandwiches, baby-back ribs, honey-glazed salmon, steaks and Cajun Chicken Pappardelle, carrot cake, coffee caramel creme brulee and sugar-cream pie, and more “food that reminds us of home.”

“We want Grindstone Public House to be known as one of Noblesville’s best restaurants...We want to have great food, and a big focus on hospitality, in a unique, historic location,” said Blake Fogelsong, who will run the day-to-day operations.

He’s hired Laurie Hughes as general manager, who came from a Grindstone Charley’s location. “We’re as ready as we’re going to be,” she said of today’s opening.

The restaurant will offer 16 craft beers, more than 30 different American whiskeys and a unique wine list, Blake Fogelsong said. A private dining area on the second floor has room for parties up to 20.

Dale and Marge Ostler were among the invited guests on Saturday. They’re good friends with Perry Fogelsong’s mom, Bunny Fogelsong, who was at the next table having dinner.

Dale Ostler said, “I”m impressed with the interior, what they’ve done with it. I like the decor.”

Marge Ostler added, “It’s a nice menu….There’s hardly a food I don’t like.”

Grindstone Public House, a new concept within the Clancy’s Inc. Restaurant Group, offers classic fare and cocktails “to help you unwind after the grind,” the father and son Fogelsongs said. “Menu items are dishes we know and love. Teamwork is who we are. Our love for downtown is reflected in all we do, all on one of the most historic cross streets in Noblesville.”

-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.