News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 4, 2013

Gourmet burger spot to open next month in Honey Creek Mall

Howard Greninger
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Bagger Dave’s Legendary Burger Tavern is scheduled to open Oct. 20 in the Honey Creek Mall and is expected to employ 90 workers, said T. Michael Ansley, president and CEO of Diversified Restaurant Holdings Inc., which operates the business.

The Michigan-based company is already advertising for its workforce for the full-service, casual restaurant and bar. Diversified Restaurant Holdings currently has Bagger Dave’s units in Indianapolis and Avon and is looking to expand its footprint in Indiana over the next two years.

“We really like Indiana, with its good cost of doing business,” Ansley said. “The demographics, incomes, densities, pretty much everything about it we like. It is another Midwestern state, and we are a Midwestern concept.”

Ansley said the company selected the Terre Haute site “because it is encamped in front of the regional mall. We like the market with the colleges and like the demographics, which Terre Haute obviously has a regional draw,” Ansley said.

The new burger tavern will be located in more than 5,000 square feet that formerly housed Garfield’s Restaurant in the Honey Creek Mall.

Diversified Restaurant Holdings will next open a Bagger Dave’s in Greenwood, slated to open in December and one possibly by the end of the year in Fort Wayne, Ansley said. The company expects to have stores in Fishers, Schererville, Columbus and Westfield/Carmel in 2014.

“Our concept is a full-service restaurant that revolves around fresh food. We don’t have a walk-in freezer. It is primarily about our burgers. We have a turkey burger and will roll out a chicken version this fall,” Ansley said.

“We also feature local craft beer, which is an upcoming segment. We try to get as local as possible,” Ansley said.

Signature burgers include the Turkey Burger (sliced mozzarella, tomato, onion and basil and balsamic vinaigrette) and the Train Wreck Burger (fresh-cut fries, fried egg, mild cheddar, sautéed onions and mushrooms and Bagger Dave’s Railhouse Burger Sauce.)

Other menu items include fresh-cut potato french fries, Dave’s sweet potato chips, turkey black bean chili and sloppy Dave’s barbecue, as well as sandwiches, salads and hand-dippped milkshakes.

Bagger Dave’s, founded in 2006, says it has identified a niche in the burger business with a modern interpretation of the old-fashioned neighborhood bar.

“There will be cherry paneling about 8 feet up and we will have an electric train in the main dining room, which is popular with kids and family,” Ansley said. “The bar is a copper bar, which mostly serves draft beer and wine. We do have liquor, but that is a small percentage of our sales, as we obviously try to revolve around the craft beer.

“We’re excited to open” in Terre Haute, Ansley added.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.