It’s Blue Friday and the Colts are in London. So, what’s a fan in Indianapolis to do?
Celebrate – British style.
“We know that all of our Colts fans would love to be in London at Wembley Stadium cheering on the team, but unfortunately we can’t all make it over there,” says Colts marketing assistant Chelsea Durham.
So, they found the next best thing – the Red Lion Grog House in Fountain Square.
“Immediately I was just like, ‘This sounds like a fantastic idea,’” says owner Wally Bolinger. “I never would have thought in a million years that I’d be able to partner and work with the Colts on something like this.”
— Nicole Pence (@NicolePence) September 26, 2016
Bolinger is a Colts fan himself and so is his wife, Sara, who grew up in Surrey, England.
“She was actually a Colts fan before she moved to Indiana. Her father worked for United Airlines, so he would come over to Indianapolis all the time. She had been over here a couple times prior to moving here with her family. Because of her dad being a fan of the Colts, that made her a fan of the Colts from an early age.”
On Friday, the Red Lion Grog House got an influx of blue décor. They offered specials on pints and shepherd’s pie and packed the place with Colts fans – like Sandy and Matthew Harston.
“We heard about it on FOX59 and we’re devout Colts fans,” says Sandy. “We have season tickets and wish we were in London to support them, but whatever we can do here to support the Colts, we’re excited about.”
Sandy was also excited to win one of the Colts scarves.
Doug Hardwick with the Horseshoe Pipes and Drums showed up in his traditional game day attire – bagpipes and all.
“Came down to the Red Lion Grog House, having a bit of food and a bit of libation to kick off the Colts being over in England,” he says.
Along with his kilt, Hardwick proudly wore a Jack Doyle jersey in honor of the Indianapolis-born tight end who played at Cathedral High School when he was a coach there.
“Jack and I have matching state championship rings with a little leprechaun in it. I like to say that I was wearing the Jack Doyle jersey before it was cool to wear a Jack Doyle jersey.”
It was a Blue Friday with international flavor to kick off Sunday’s NFL International Series game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Jacksonville Jaguars from Wembley Stadium in London.
“We had a great crowd,” says Durham. “Everyone was able to enjoy Scotch eggs, fish ‘n chips, all sorts of fun stuff. We were packed the whole time and gave away some fun British scarves that we hope fans will wear while they’re out and about early on Sunday morning watching the game.”
And if you’re looking for a place to watch the game, the Red Lion Grog House will open bright and early.
“We normally open at noon on Sundays, but this Sunday we’re going to open at 8 AM,” says Bolinger. “We’re going to serve a full English breakfast, eggs, bacon, ham, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, toast, a full plate, a big entrée. And then we’re going to be doing biscuits and gravy, breakfast burrito, and then a breakfast bowl.”
And if you want to go American…
— Wally (@RedLionGrogHous) September 11, 2016
“We’re going to have our regular menu and we’ll do 60-cent chicken wings that day as well.”
Sunday’s game kicks off at 9:30 AM (EDT) and will be broadcast on CBS4.