Dog Inn celebrates 30 years in business
says it's time for someone else to own established eatery
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[November 26, 2008]
The Blue Dog Inn, at 111 S.
Sangamon, is celebrating its 30th year in the restaurant business.
The owner of the popular eatery, Susie Fuhrer, has been there for 29
1/2 of those years.
A Lincoln native who is the daughter of Bob and Betty Field,
Susie started at the Blue Dog Inn shortly after Lou Hardacre took
over the business and changed the name in 1979.
Fuhrer explained that the name Blue Dog Inn "came from a favorite
dog in the neighborhood named Blue."
In 1983 Fuhrer became a co-owner of the establishment and was
instrumental in adding menu items to shift the business from a bar
that offered a limited menu of sandwiches to a restaurant that
offered liquor. In 1986, she became the sole owner.
By 1990, the Blue Dog Inn was firmly entrenched in the community
as an eatery. Fuhrer notes that weekday lunch activity is always
high, but weekend evenings when families come to eat are also a very
important part of the business.
When asked what the most popular item is, Fuhrer couldn't name a
precise meal. Instead she mentioned that many items are popular, and
although chili and salads, horseshoes and reubens are always high on
the list of sales and most of the menu has strong interest from
patrons. She is confident that the Blue Dog's fries are the best in
town, and few would challenge her assertion, especially her faithful
customers who always order them. The menu's success is undoubtedly
due to almost three decades of grooming, adding and changing to fit
the requests and desires of her patrons.
Fuhrer, explained how having the business accepted as a
restaurant has saved her some problems other bar-restaurant
establishments have been facing this year.
Since her inn is a family, food-oriented business, the smoking ban
did not affect her business as it did some bars. The hours, which
are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, aren't hours conducive to late-night drinkers,
who are more often smokers.
The Blue Dog Inn is closed on Sundays and is open on Monday only
for the lunch hour, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Fuhrer, who is 51 years old, is married to Steve Fuhrer, and they
live on Eighth Street with two dogs, one named Blue (of course) and
the other Angle, plus a cat named Smurfie added in for good measure.
Looking back on the years, Fuhrer mentioned that she feels fortunate
and grateful for all who have worked for her at the restaurant as
well as for all her loyal customers who have made her business a
success. She also felt it was important to state that she couldn't
have done the job all those years without the help of her father,
Bob, and the support of her husband, Steve.
[to top of second column]
As the Blue Dog nears its 30th anniversary, Fuhrer wanted to make an
announcement to the public that her establishment is now up for
She made it clear that she feels fine at 51 years of age and that
business is very good. It is just time for someone else to take over
and continue the tradition of a family-oriented restaurant with
"Steve and I are not ready to retire, and everything is fine with
us health wise. The business is going very well, but it's just time
to do something else," she said. "When would be a better time to
sell a business than when it's going good?" she asked.
Fuhrer decided to make this announcement public to make the
situation clear that it is merely time for her to move on, and that
is the singular reason for offering the restaurant for sale. The new
owner and all its great employees hopefully will continue the Blue
Dog Inn's tradition.
The business is listed with Coldwell Banker and has just been
added to the MLS listings. Information can be obtained through all
realtors in town.