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Big Lug Goes Even Bigger

If the past year has seen some notable and heartbreaking restaurant closings, it has also been a time for well-established local restaurant groups to expand their empires in some new and exciting ways. The latest Sahm’s concept, whose Big Lug brand expanded to the Fall Creek Golf Club grounds in mid-December with Big Lug Country Pub, plans to fuse German classics and Texas barbecue favorites in the former Bent Rail Brewery location near 54th Street and the Monon, where Big Lug has already been open on Saturday mornings during the Broad Ripple Winter Farmers Market. Tapping former H2O Sushi owner Eli Anderson as his right-hand man, Big Lug’s Eddie Sahm has also enlisted former Marrow chef and owner John Adams, recently off a kitchen gig at Salt on Mass, as well as pit master and former Repeal chef de cuisine Blake Ellis, to help with the project. Adams will handle the indoor kitchen, creating hearty Central European staples with Hoosier twists, as well as an in-house bakery for pretzels and German-style breads. Ellis will handle the barbecuing and grilling at the venue’s outdoor pit. “We hope to make a menu that brings some color to German food and highlights classic German beer styles, such as food-friendly lagers and pilsners brewed in house,” Sahm says. “We’re also planning a thoughtful wine and cocktail list prepared by Simon O’Grady and Lindsay Sloan. We think we’ve built a super team of eccentric, exciting people who like to have a good time. Hopefully Indy’s ready to have a good time with us.” Sahm hopes that the good times will start rolling sometime in mid-June, as his quirky approach to brewpub food and culture makes its way even farther down Indy’s busiest biking and walking trail.

A graduate of IU’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing, Terry Kirts hails from a town in Illinois so small it didn’t have a restaurant until he was in the 8th grade. Since 2000, he’s more than made up for the dearth of eateries in his childhood, logging hundreds of meals as the dining critic for WHERE Indianapolis, Indianapolis Woman, and NUVO before joining Indianapolis Monthly as a contributing editor in 2007. A senior lecturer in creative writing at IUPUI, Terry has published his poetry and creative nonfiction in a number of literary journals and anthologies, including Gastronomica, Alimentum, and Home Again: Essays and Memoirs from Indiana, and he’s the author of the poetry collection To the Refrigerator Gods, published by Seven Kitchens Press in 2011.