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Fan-favorite diner reopens in Bargersville

More than two and a half years later, the Knuckle Sandwich is back at a new location: State Road 135 and Whiteland Road.

BARGERSVILLE, Ind. — For years, the Knuckle Sandwich served up American classics on the south side of Indianapolis.

The '50s- and '60s-themed diner was known for its signature sandwiches, like the one-pound cheeseburger and the "Hub Cap Tenderloin."

In 2020, however, the diner was forced to close to make room for construction on Interstate 69.

"Aug. 31 was a hard day," co-owner Brent Plunkett said. "That was a hard week for the wife and I."

Plunkett said his team had to be out of the original location, near State Road 144 and Huggin Hollow Road, by Sept. 30, 2020.

"We were there six and a half years before we lost it," Plunkett said. "It was a good run. It was nice. We had a lot of nice customers coming in."

More than two and a half years later, the Knuckle Sandwich is back — this time, at a new location.

The new diner, which Plunkett describes as "totally different than anywhere else to eat," opened near Whiteland Road and State Road 135 in Bargersville.

"A lot went into it," Plunkett said.

Inside, the Knuckle Sandwich is decked out with '50s and '60s decor from 10 different flea markets, according to Plunkett.

The centerpiece is the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air car booth.

"Everybody who comes in, this is the first thing they look at," Plunkett said.

And around the corner is a 1965 Ford Mustang hostess stand.

Three, six-seater booths are lined underneath an old-time scoreboard, which serves a unique function for guests.

"We have a challenge, which is two one-pound burgers dressed out and two pounds of fries in 45 minutes."

Credit: WTHR/Samantha Johnson
The Knuckle Sandwich's "challenge" invites customers to try to eat two one-pound burgers dressed out and two pounds of fries in 45 minutes.

The scoreboard ticks away for 45 minutes, and guests who win "The Challenge" score a point for the "guests" and their photo on the Wall of Fame.

"If they do do it, they get their picture taken, and their picture will be posted underneath there," Plunkett said.

A jukebox carries '50s and '60s music through the dining room, decked out for four televisions.

The Knuckle Sandwich is a true family affair, according to Plunkett, who owns the shop with his wife.

The '65 Ford Mustang at the front door is a tribute to his mother.

"That was the first car that I ever got in that I remember my mom driving," Plunkett said.

Additionally, Plunkett said the diner's name also came from his mother, recalling a fond memory of asking his mom "what's for dinner."

Plunkett said she replied, "I don't know, but you can have a knuckle sandwich right now."

Credit: WTHR/Samantha Johnson
The Knuckle Sandwich, a '50s- and '60s-themed diner, reopened Feb. 13 at its new location at Whiteland Road and State Road 135 in Bargersville.

Hence, the Knuckle Sandwich was born, serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The diner officially opened its new location Monday, Feb. 13.

"Now its time to get the doors open, and let the people come in and see what's going on," Plunkett said.

The last, obvious question about the retro diner: Coke or Pepsi?

"Pepsi," Plunkett said. "I know Coke was first, but since it's our restaurant, and since I like Mountain Dew and my wife likes Diet Pepsi, we chose Pepsi."

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