Extol Celebrating Health

MAR 2017

Extol Sports is a publication dedicated to celebrating, covering and featuring health, fitness and sports in Southern Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky.

Issue link: https://exsport.epubxp.com/i/791151

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Page 20 of 51

It was hard work for everyone, not least for the girls. "I always say, the best thing my father ever did for me was buy a pizza restaurant, and the worst thing my father ever did for me was buy a pizza restaurant," Amy said. "Kate and I missed out on our entire high school life. We had to go in every day and make the dough and wash the dishes. And when we weren't in the restaurant, we had to carry around a pager in case someone called in sick." e hours were so long, Amy recalled, "I was voted 'most likely to fall asleep in class.' " "We were 24/7 for so many years," said Kate, "we missed every Christmas and anksgiving." "A lot of people who open a restaurant think they like to cook," said Amy. "You like to cook? You'll pretty much have to give that up and be a babysitter, a plumber, a janitor, an accountant, a repairman, (a human resources) executive." Some form of that ought to be at the top of every new restaurant contract. So, new restaurant? Never again! Which is why, in 1989, Amy decided to open a barbecue joint in an adjoining spot, called Rich O's. ("After my dad.") What? Why? "I got weary of being called in all the time, so I thought owning my own place next door would be the answer to that," Amy said. "Yeah, right! Now I was putting in 12- to 14-hour days in my own place." What she also did at that time, though, was pursue an interest in craft brewing. at led to the name change – New Albanian – and to a new direction for the business. e sisters invested in a small brewery in Sellersburg, which failed. "But we bought the equipment," said Amy, "and now it made sense to go into the brewing business, if only to brew for our restaurant." New Albanian was the 13th commercial microbrewery in Indiana when it started. Today, there are 147. "We just got voted the 'Number One Local Beer in Indiana' by RateBeer.com," Kate reported. That led, eventually, to opening the New Albanian Brewing Company Café & Brewhouse on Bank Street. "Originally, this was not intended to be a restaurant at all, just a production brewery with a little tap room," Amy said. "Mostly, the beer brewed here would go directly to the pizzeria, and we'd use the front part of the building as a tasting bar – but no food." at was the plan. But their third partner, Amy's then-husband, took the idea and ran with it. "He never thought what we did at the pizzeria took any work, he thought all you had to do was hire people," she said. "So I said, 'OK, you open the restaurant down there and you can see what it's all about.' But I figured, he was our partner, he'd take care of whatever needed to be done." Pretty soon, there was a chef and a sous chef, and the tap room had spiraled into "a whole crazy French gourmet thing." And another failed experiment. "e café had more to do with my ego, not fully understanding that we were getting into something different," Amy ruefully admitted. "I naively thought we were doing so well with our pizzeria, it would translate well into this new entity. But it was, in fact, a different business and a different concept at a different location. "So we didn't have the best reason for starting it, and it was at the worst time in the economy you could ever want." Rocky road is more than just an ice cream flavor. "It knocked us off our high horse and made us start over from scratch," Amy said. ey went through some weird attempts to pair food with their beers. ey tried to arrange for food trucks to stop outside. 19

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