Off track betting business takes gamble on new location, expanded brand

NEW HAVEN, Ind. (WANE) – The area’s only off track betting site is going all-in on its new location. Back in December, the old Fort Wayne Off Track Betting site on Washington Center Road closed its doors. Now it’s packed up its racing slips and moved about 15 minutes away to Minnich Road in New Haven. As the name suggests, Winner’s Circle Brewpub is expanding the brand to include a sports bar atmosphere.

The old location, Fort Wayne Off Track Betting, opened back in 1995. After 19 years of a location buried in a busy strip mall, owners decided it best to move to a more accessible spot.

“We feel that this location will be something that can be very attractive to this area. We wanted to create something with off track betting with a brewpub environment. This was just the right area to be able to come and put something together. Our owners feel this is the right way to go to try to help build the business up in off-track betting because it has been a declining business,” Vice President and General Manager of Winner’s Circle Operations Rudy McMillan said.

Winner’s Circle Brewpub in New Haven joins two other locations in Indianapolis and Shelbyville. The downtown Indianapolis location opened in December of 2011, and the Shelbyville location opened several years later in July of 2014.

“We’ve put ourselves in a position to capture business from all over this part of Indiana and even parts of Ohio and Michigan,” General Manager of Winner’s Circle Brewpub New Haven Brian Farmer said.

Winner’s Circle will have a focus on Indiana beers. Of the ten on tap, five are from the Hoosier State.

“Craft beers have skyrocketed. It’s definitely a really important piece in dining. We want to be great ambassadors for the state of Indiana,” Farmer said.

Two taps come from Mad Anthony’s in Fort Wayne. There are also brews from Munster, Bloomington, and Indianapolis.

“It offers a different type of dynamic into your evening, for a date or for a buddy. The $20 or $25 you’d spend at the theater for the movie and popcorn can be parlayed into a little bit of gaming or craft beer. The atmosphere is always electric whether it is the Kentucky Derby or they’re wagering on a different race. When the horses are coming down the stretch, that exhilarating feeling of your three horse just about hitting the wire is a feeling like none other. When you couple that with the pub-style atmosphere,  I think it’s really going to hit a home-run in New Haven,” Farmer said.

Another change is the hours. The old location was open five days a week. The New Haven location practically never closes:

Winner’s Circle Brewpub Hours:

  • Sunday – Thursday: 11 a.m.- 12:30 a.m.
  • Friday & Saturday: 11 a.m.- 1:30 a.m

“We’ve definitely created a brand that is going to entice men and women of all ages. We want to create a favorite local place for businessmen and women to come and enjoy lunch or for a couple to come in on a Tuesday night and dine in with us and watch the IU game or Purdue game. We’re going to behave like the Kentucky Derby is every day,” Farmer said.

Farmer said the community has also been incredibly supportive of the new move.

“We have already built a great relationship with the New Haven Chamber of Commerce, and we’re becoming great friends with our neighbors in the complex. We do feel like this is going to do a lot for the community of New Haven and we’re just minutes from downtown Fort Wayne,” Farmer said.

Winner’s Circle also offers both non-smoking and smoking sections. The grand opening is Saturday, January 24th.  It kicks off at 11 a.m. and runs until 1:30 a.m. on Sunday.

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