Good Food and Spirits in a Legendary Atmosphere!
It started as an idea between three old friends from French Lick, IN. Tracy Tucker, Brian Pendley and Danny Weikert had grown up, played ball and lived their lives in the Valley. They had watched it start to languish and more recently they watched it revive with new business as the French Lick and West Baden Hotels began to draw more and more people from around Southern Indiana.
"We were just trying to fill a need for the community," Tucker said, referring to the restaurant they opened in the historic downtown district of their hometown. "We wanted to help revitalize the old downtown French Lick."
They began in the spring of 2008, restoring an old storefront into a restaurant and pub with the namesake 33 Brick Street. The title is a combination of reference to the cobbled street out front, and an homage to the now world-famous local, Larry Bird.
"French Lick was partly put on the map because of him," Tucker said, referring to his long-time friend, Bird. "Just from a pride standpoint, and being a Larry Bird fan, I thought there should be something here when people come to town that they could go see."
When the 3 friends approached Bird with the idea of using his image as part of the restaurant, he was receptive to the point of loaning them the majority of his vast collection of sports memorabilia and collectibles.
"I had 6 guys come in today mainly to just look around," said Pendley, who was the restaurant's former manager. He said the collection of jerseys, trophies, rings, photographs, and medals is a huge draw, along with the appetizing menu.
"The concept was based off of a bunch of different establishments we looked at," Pendley explained of the cuisine choices. "It's that genre of a kind of hometown grill and pub." Each Friday patrons can enjoy all you can eat fish and prime rib on Saturday. Every visit will offer a new choice of select all-Angus beef steaks.
"It's been done before, but we are taking it to a more local level," Pendley said. This is evidenced by the large selection of the old Springs Valley High School gym floor which hangs on the wall just inside the front door. The owners invite locals who played on that floor to sign it when they stop in, and the group of signatures is a testament to the growth and success of the business in the first year. When it was first hung there were maybe half a dozen names written on the glossy wood planks; now there are hundreds.
"We've come a long way from the opening," Tucker admitted. "I don't think we were ever bad. I think we've improved and created a great casual dining experience."
Items on display at 33 Brick Street include signed jerseys by Larry Bird, Emmitt Smith, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Lou Brock, Magic Johnson, Joe Montana, Walt Frasier, and many more. Along with Bird's NBA Championship trophys, MVP trophys, and his Naismith Award, there is also a collection of photographs from Bird's private album while at the Olympics, and his championship rings are sometimes displayed.