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In the early 1950's Clete Miller leased a building on the corner of

Nuttman and 13th Street (now McDonald's) which was then called

Swearinger Dairy Ice Cream and Malt Shop. Mr. Miller changed the

name to Fairway and made it into a full restaurant serving breakfast,

lunch and dinner. Featuring home fries with breakfast, shrimp creole,

beef Manhatten, beef strogenoff, prime rib alcarte with salad for lunch.

Also serving oysters on the 1/2 shell, smoked fish, Greek salads and the

famous Char Broiler in the bar.

 

In 1953 the huge Tiffany Chandelier was bought from the Noll estate in

Fort Wayne, Indiana and placed in the famous Bamboo room. It was

decorated with sketches of people who had visited our town or local

business celeberties of our home town Decatur, Indiana. On the ceiling

in this same room were the history newspaper headlines of World War II

with big black foot prints across them. On the lighted wall was the

beautiful outdoor scenery. This picture is now placed on the wall above

the hot line. The people in the picture are Mr. & Mrs. Reppert who were

the founders of the Reppert Auctioneering School. A picture of one of the

early classes can be found on the wall in the bar (The Nickle Plate Pub).

 

In the 1960's he added the farm decore. Changing the name to Fairway

Back 40 and giving each dinning room a special touch. The outside

animals were added (the steer, the pig, and the horse & buggie).

 

Mr. Miller then started to create family style dinners which then

originated the famous smorgasbord. It featured Prime Rib with other

variety of prepared selections. Mr. Miller then began placing and

exhibiting a variety of American heritage in the dining rooms and

hallways.

 

This is when the Storm Cellar began with an all white frosted look. A

piano player and sing along Friday & Saturday night while you waited

for a table and your number was called.

 

In early 1974 Mr. Miller decided to expand and built what is now the

Back 40 Junction with a midwestern railroad decore wand greater seating

capacity. The club car of 1920 complete with all original lighting fixtures,

seats, kitchen (weight approximately 44 tons) and the caboose gift shop

from the 1890's were moved by C&L Yost Company with a 15 man crew.

 

Now inside the restaurant there were statues from John Rogers, a popular

sculptor of the late 1800's, and the antique lamps that were once owned

by Carol Lombard, an Indiana born movie legend. The Tiffany

chandelier, which was brought from the Fairway is now hanging in the

back dining area. The whalers lamp, the collection of the Burma Shave

highway signs, the hand painted wall murals in the dining room and in

the Nickel Plate Pub. The copper brewing vat called the "Grant" where

malt liquour was stored and then piped to the beer vats, and the spigots

are from the beer vats taken from the Centlivre Brewery in Fort Wayne,

Indiana. On the ceiling in the Nickle Plate Pub are the Barnum & Bailey

circus posters. Many of the smaller items come from our local people

which are important to our Indiana culture.

 

 

 

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1011 North 13th Street - Decatur, IN 46733-1001 - 260 724-3355
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