Word on the Street:
The old “Wheelers” restaurant is being restored as a studio showroom, café, and local market! The Roudebush family is hard at work to breathe some new life into this old, iconic building. By honoring the site’s history while maintaining a contemporary vision, JR and Nick have managed to blend old and new, vintage and modern.
The Mercantile 37 studio and showroom will feature quality, custom home goods created by a collective of local makers. Operating within the rustic-industrial aesthetic, the products will range anywhere from candles to handmade furniture to custom concrete surfaces. The emphasis will be quality, custom, and local.
The locally-minded Wheelers Café and Market will offer creative breakfast and lunch fare and a selection of local food products. Coffee will be roasted locally and served fresh. Ingredients will be sourced locally whenever possible. The vision is for this destination café to be the community hub that it was in its prime!
Feel free to stop by and check it out!
Follow our progress on Facebook and Instagram.
The New Building
History of the Building
Anyone who lives within 30 miles knows the name “Wheelers”. The site has a rich history that began in 1940 when Cecil Scott and his wife (both relatives of Emma Roudebush) opened “Scotty’s Inn.” This was back when SR 37 was the main route between Fort Wayne and Indy, so Scotty’s became a well-known stop for truckers, local farmers, and travelers alike. It featured a pump station and restaurant on the main floor, and ‘tourist rooms’ upstairs. Side note: We were recently gifted an old billboard from the Scotty’s era- make sure you check it out!
Scotty got out of the business and the building changed hands a couple of times in a few short years before being reopened after a devastating kitchen fire in the 70’s as “Wheeler’s Restaurant.” Wheelers became a household name for a good spot to get some pancakes, biscuits and gravy, and catch up on local gossip. The restaurant operated through the late 90’s until it shut down. The site has been out-of-business ever since.
We are honored to have the opportunity to restore and renew this building and to honor its past! Though the old building will no longer serve as a food establishment, we are opening a new restaurant in our expansion building rightfully-titled “Wheelers!” We hope that this place will continue to serve as a hub for community and local food! Keep your eyes peeled for some throwback décor as well!