Brindley followed her dream
to open unique stores
shops are part of the town's tourism revival
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.
by Ashlie Petrakos
Grill in Vevay is expanding
along with the tourism.
G.Gs 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 childrens 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.Gs was born. The
Gs in G.Gs stands for Gerry Gilliatte. A plaque hangs on
the wall commemorating Gilliattes 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 hes 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.
Ive always wanted something to keep me busy, and I guess
Ive got it. I just couldnt 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. Its 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.Gs Grill is kind
of a 50s style diner with class, said Brindley. It boasts
a soda fountain and ice cream shop. Brindleys mother, Pam Brindley-Raley,
by Ashlie Petrakos
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 Brindleys grandmother, Mary Shaw of Madison. Shaw also makes
homemade cakes and pastries and desserts for G.Gs.
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.Gs 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.Gs. But catering is also a large part of the business.
For their one-year anniversary, G.Gs 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
G.Gs Grill is located at 309 Ferry
St. in Vevay. Call (812) 427-9121 for more information.
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