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Vevay hot spot

Owner Brindley followed her dream
to open unique stores

The shops are part of the town's tourism revival

By Chemaign Drumm
Contributing writer

VEVAY, Ind. – What started as a specialty sandwich shop in downtown Vevay one year ago has blossomed and grown into a multi-faceted business to attract the growing number of tourists in Switzerland County.

G.G's Grill

Photo by Ashlie Petrakos

G.G’s Grill in Vevay is expanding
along with the tourism.

G.G’s Grill opened in June 2006 featuring soups and sandwiches. Within the year, owner Jenny Brindley, 30, has expanded to include a candy store, gift shop, and banquet room.
Brindley said there were so many out-of-towners coming in that she wanted to offer a variety of specialty items to appeal to those tourists.
Brindley was born and raised in Vevay, but after meeting her boyfriend, Gerry Gilliatte, she divided her time between Indianapolis and Vevay.
Gilliatte was a construction company owner who was active in the community. He was especially active with a children’s home in Indianapolis. When Brindley met him, he was in remission from transitional cell carcinoma. During their several years as a couple, Gilliatte encouraged Brindley to open a business so she would have something to do and support herself if anything happened to him. Gilliatte, who was on the board at I.U. Medical Center with Lance Armstrong, died of cancer on Jan. 28, 2006.
Brindley decided to follow his advice and decided to open an elegant hair salon in Vevay. As renovation of the four buildings purchased on Ferry Street began, Brindley decided she wanted to open a business that could include her family, and the idea for G.G’s was born. The G’s in G.G’s stands for Gerry Gilliatte. A plaque hangs on the wall commemorating Gilliatte’s life and accomplishments.
Brindley owns a home in the country, but because her business is expanding so rapidly, she and her 8-year-old son stay in an apartment above the store. She said he’s having a hard time adjusting to all the hustle and bustle but believes in the end it will all be for the best.
“Until he has to start washing dishes,” she laughed.
“I’ve always wanted something to keep me busy, and I guess I’ve got it. I just couldn’t do it without mom and grandma and my employees,” said Brindley. She also said she loved Little Nashville in Brown County, Ind., and has high hopes that Vevay might end up a little bit like that.
Brindley was awarded first place in the Indiana State Main Street Award for Historical Restoration of Buildings. Dave Attaway, executive director of Switzerland County Tourism, approached Brindley about being nominated for this award.
Attaway noted that the quality of work that went into restoring what he called dilapidated buildings is terrific. He said his role was nothing more than supportive and that he helped Brindley with advice when she wanted it, but that the hard work was all her. “It’s people like Jenny that keep us growing and developing,” said Attaway.
The buildings were gutted and plumbing, wiring, the facades and interiors were redone. The Tiffany Room is a banquet room with cherry floors and tiffany style lighting and is very elegant. G.G’s Grill is “kind of a ‘50s style diner with class,” said Brindley. It boasts a soda fountain and ice cream shop. Brindley’s mother, Pam Brindley-Raley, manages G.G’s.

Jenny Brindley

Photo by Ashlie Petrakos

Jenny Brindley
says opening G.G.'s
Grill was a longtime
dream of hers.

The candy store is geared towards children, with balloons and party favors and gifts, store-bought candy and homemade candy made by Brindley’s grandmother, Mary Shaw of Madison. Shaw also makes homemade cakes and pastries and desserts for G.G’s.
The gift store is located in the building that was to be the hair salon. It features porcelain floors and chandeliers. Eventually, Brindley wants to connect all four of her enterprises with large rock archways. So far, G.G’s and the dining area are the only two connected. The facades of the buildings were painted by a company that specializes in historic painting.
Open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, specialty sandwiches and soups are still offered at G.G’s. But catering is also a large part of the business.
For their one-year anniversary, G.G’s began serving breakfast. Homemade muffins and Danishes, omelets, strawberry shortcake pancakes and blueberry pancakes are just some of the mouthwatering options offered. And the breakfast menu is served all day.
“We had some of the drivers from the (NASCAR) Busch race over at the (Kentucky) Speedway come in for breakfast,” said Brindley. She added that a lot of people come to Vevay because the people at Belterra Resort Casino and Spa recommend Vevay as a scenic, historic town to visit.

• G.G’s Grill is located at 309 Ferry St. in Vevay. Call (812) 427-9121 for more information.

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