LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Anyone who frequents Columbian Park may have noticed that Scott Street’s former restaurant, Parkside, is busier than ever.
This time it’s under a new name and with a brand new mascot.
Inspired by the street where the restaurant is located, owner Scott Blankman renamed it Scott Street Pub, hoping to revitalize the restaurant’s image while respecting the historic nature of the business.
Blankman also changed the restaurant’s mascot to a duck to highlight the neighborhood’s frequent walkers.
“Here, we are a duck-loving establishment! We don’t support geese,” joked Zach Lang, manager of the Scott Street Pub.
Over the decades, Parkside was known for its various culinary iterations, ranging from a deli to a seafood house. But under Blankman’s ownership, he wanted to create a different kind of environment for the neighborhood. A place where people can stop before an Aviators game or after a weekend Little League game.
“The Scott Street Pub is a family pub and grill. A place where the community can come and eat and gather. Kind of a new twist on an old place, just with updated amenities,” Lang said.
It was the image Blankman wanted for Parkside when he bought the restaurant and reopened it in February 2020.
But just a month after opening its new version for Parkside, it had to close shop due to the pandemic. And as the shutdown moved on from weeks to months, Parkside sat quietly around the corner, a shell of itself.
But earlier this year, Blankman decided he wanted to give the restaurant one more shot at success and reopened it under its new name.
Hoping to accomplish this goal, Blankman brought in Lang and Jordan Gebhard to help run the new restaurant. Since the initial closure, Blankman had become incredibly busy operating his landscaping business.
And during the first months of summer, Blankman, Lang and Gebhard renovated the restaurant, hired new staff and organized a pre-opening at the end of July 2022.
Similar to the latest reiteration of the Scott Street establishment, the initial menu is limited, with salads, Reubens, burgers and other sandwiches. Lang said the Scott Street team focuses on a quality menu rather than quantity.
“We try to go for the best sandwiches, burgers, simple stuff. Nothing too crazy, but we do it well and with cold beer and good wine,” he added.
Although for the foodies in town, the Scott Street Pub has a few unique dishes on the menus which, if you mention, they might be ready to make if they have the ingredients.
For fans of a good Jucy Lucy burger, which is a stuffed burger with cheese inside the meat rather than on top, resulting in a core of melted cheese, the Heartbreak burger, which is a Jucy inspired burger Lucy, is the burger for you.
Initially, the Scott Street Pub team created the burger as one of their Burger of the Week items, but the burger did so well during that week that it became a secret item in the menu.
Beyond their burgers, Scott Street Pub also plans to host different food specialties on different nights. From now on, the restaurant hosts Seoul Taco Tuesdays and Gourmet Sundays.
On Seoul Gourmet Sundays, they will serve Korean hot dogs, which are corndogs made with sausage, mozzarella, or a combination of the two. The corndogs are also coated in a sweet flour batter before being rolled in a layer of different fillings and deep-fried.
“I know the guys in the back are good at what they do, but sometimes I want to let them flex their culinary muscles once in a while,” Lang said.
One addition the Scott Street team is happy to use is the paved outdoor patio. Lang and Gebhard have a few ideas about what they want to do with the area, like hosting private events or live music.
The team is also considering football nights, where locals can stop by and have a tailgating experience in their backyards watching the game.
But overall, the goal of the Scott Street Pub is to become a central hub for the community to unwind, chill with friends, and enjoy a few ice-cold beers together.
“We want you to come and hang out. Our menu size is small, but we just want to make sure the food comes out quick and easy. We’re not going to do anything crazy, and we just want people to enjoy the home environment, whether it’s with their family or the community,” Lang said.