St. Elmo Was Ready for Its Close-Up at Parks and Rec Viewing Party

The Indy-centric episode also featured some local notables and national celebrities.

It’s no secret that St. Elmo Steak House is a must-do for a lot of visitors to Indianapolis—and that includes actor and longtime fan Rob Lowe. The restaurant, says St. Elmo marketing director Bryn Jones, is “Lowe’s steak”—a treat to be savored. So when Lowe learned that Parks and Recreation, the hit NBC television show he stars in, would be traveling to Indy for taping, he insisted that his favorite local spot be included. “I’m a Midwest boy,” Lowe says in the clip below. “I love my steaks, my pies. And I found all the best in Indy.”

Set in a fictional Indiana town, Parks and Recreation is mostly taped in L.A., but during the show’s visit to the state last month, the capital city got most of the love. About 100 cast and crewmembers stopped at St. Elmo, as well as Lucas Oil Stadium, to tape shots for last night’s episode.

The Parks and Recreation producers also employed a lot of locals as extras and on the crew, and former U.S. House Speaker and presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich showed up at St. Elmo “completely out of the blue” during taping, says Jones. Within an hour, the producers, writer, and creator of the series had Gingrich written into a scene. The entire day of shooting, in fact, was “organized and really precise,” Jones says, the experience “phenomenal.”

St. Elmo celebrated the occasion yesterday evening with a well-attended Parks and Recreation viewing party. It looked to be a subdued crowd as the episode got underway—that is, until Colts owner Jim Irsay appeared on the screen, prompting rounds of hollering and clapping. The St. Elmo cameo soon followed, resulting in even more cheers from the viewers. 

One of the attendees, Indianapolis native Tyler Carmichael, seemed to sum up the sentiment of much of the crowd. “We’re casual fans [of the show],” he told IM. “We’re just here because it’s in Indy and we love St. Elmo.”

PLUS: See the episode’s preview clip with WTHR-Channel 13 anchor Andrea Morehead (accompanying Gingrich), Pacers Roy Hibbert and Miles Plumlee, and more.

Photos by Jaime Hillegonds