Gary Brackett's New Turf: Georgia Reese's Restaurant

The football veteran–turned–restaurateur shows his soulful side.

Gary Brackett - September 2014 - Georgia Reese'sLast month, former Colts linebacker Gary Brackett put his muscle behind Georgia Reese’s Southern Table & Bar, his upscale, soul food–flavored supper club at 86th Street and Michigan Road. “It’s a place you can go for happy hour with friends and have some food, have some drinks, and have a good time,” says the nine-year NFL veteran, who has assembled a solid team that includes Harry & Izzy’s alum Bradley Phelps as general manager and Dwight Simmons, who owns Indy Star Chefs Culinary Services, as head chef. The menu reads like a wish list of Southern comfort: rosemary-and-garlic–roasted chicken with watermelon sauce, corn-breaded catfish, oyster po’boys, and char-roasted jumbo shrimp. With live jazz and R&B music on Fridays and Saturdays, plus a gospel brunch on Sundays, the atmosphere is as relaxed as the food.
Georgia Reese’s, named after Brackett’s youngest daughter, joins the ranks of other Indy soul-food spots like Kountry Kitchen and Maxine’s Chicken & Waffles. For Brackett, however, it’s not a competition. “I’m a big believer in controlling what we can do inside our four walls,” he says. “I just want to have a good, consistent product and Hoosier hospitality.”
Gary Brackett’s Favorite Things
(1) The pork tenderloin at Stacked Pickle: “Best in the city.” (Brackett is a partner in a couple of the burger bar’s locations.)
(2) Reggie Wayne’s suite at Lucas Oil Stadium: “We have a saying in football: The eye in the sky doesn’t lie.”
(3) The 6 a.m. workout at CrossFit Zionsville: “Great way to start your day.”
(4) Long Island iced teas at Eddie Merlot’s: “On Thursdays, me and some of the fellas I played with hit the steakhouses.”