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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Last call: Restaurant owner hanging it up after 15 years

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

For almost 15 years, patrons have been able to walk into Yesterday's Pub and, more than likely, see the smiling face of Dave Smerdel somewhere in the restaurant.

"Fifteen years, that's a long time in this business," Smerdel told The Brazil Times.

But after Saturday, they won't seem him there again.

Smerdel -- who has owned the restaurant just shy of 15 years -- is selling the property.

"I will miss the people I've met," Smerdel said of running the restaurant. "I've had a lot of good memories. A lot of people have had tears in their eyes. It's pretty solemn."

Some of those memories include coaching several youngsters in both the Clay Youth League and the Clay Youth Football League.

Dave Smerdel
"I've coached a lot of kids in this county," Smerdel said. "Now I'm serving them. I've seen so many kids grow up here."

Coaching is just one of the many ways Smerdel has been able to "give back to the community," he said.

"I really enjoyed doing that," he said.

Smerdel, originally from Indianapolis, was in construction before he and his wife Laura got into the food business.

Since coming to Brazil, Smerdel has offered plenty of food and drink at his establishment.

Smerdel's last day at the restaurant is Saturday. A farewell event has been scheduled for his family that evening. Festivities are expected to begin sometime around 6 p.m.

"It's going to be a really tough night for me," Smerdel said. "When we hung the banner (in front of the building on United States 40), the phone didn't stop ringing."

Smerdel said he has been looking at other locations to open another restaurant for quite a while.

A few months ago, he said he was approached by Northview High School teacher Jon Crooks and Clay County resident Mike Mayle about the possibility of selling the restaurant.

"I called them and everything just fell into place in the last months," Smerdel said.

Mayle and Crooks said they have plans to continue with a restaurant in the location, 101 E. National Ave., Brazil, but the bar and grill will have a sports-feel to it.

"We've been looking into going into business together," Crooks said. "It just kind of fell into place."

"This is a great opportunity," Mayle added. "We want to put a new thing in town."

Both Mayle and Crooks said there will be some changes to the building.

Mayle said sports memorabilia will hang on the walls, in addition to plenty of televisions and a jukebox. He added they are planning on putting in hardwood floors.

"It has a lot of potential," Mayle said.

"It will be a place where people can come and sit down and watch some games," Crooks added.

Crooks said the new sports bar and grill, tentatively called Coach and Cleater's Timeout Sports Bar and Grill, will cater to a healthy lifestyle. The building will be non-smoking and healthy foods will be on the menu, along with other food.

"We will have some of the old menu items," Mayle said, adding that a deck may be built in the back of the building where smoking might be allowed.

"It's still going to be family oriented," Crooks said. "But we're going to change it a little bit. (Smerdel) has a nice bar. He's done well for the community."

Regular patrons of Yesterday's will be happy to know some of the long-time associates within the business, including bartender Bev O'Neal, cook Karen John and waitresses Angela Coil and Tammy Wildman will stay on under the new management.

Those interested will be pleased to know Smerdel will be opening Yesterday's II in Plainfield sometime in June. The restaurant will be located at 120 N. Perry Rd., Plainfield, off U.S. 40.

"It will have the exact same menu and atmosphere," Smerdel said.

He also plans on helping the new owners with anything they may need.

"I'm not going to leave them in the dark," Smerdel said. "They've got some big plans."

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This sounds great! Actually being able to order vegetables (that are not over cooked and full of pork) out in a restaurant in Brazil will be fantastic! Although I am not carzy about a sports theme....I can deal if the food is good and you have Guinness on tap.

-- Posted by softcloth on Thu, May 14, 2009, at 7:46 AM

I think it's a GREAT idea! There are lots of folks in town who play golf, basketball at the YMCA, volleyball, baseball and even the "old timers" softball leagues will have a nice, quiet SMOKE FREE place to relax and unwind. I'm all for it!!

There are few decent bars in Brazil as it is .. Yesterday's Pub was one of them .. so many of the bars in town now have smoking .. nothing worse than having to wrap your hair in a towel at night to keep from smelling the smoke that saturates both hair and clothing! Ugh!

I can't wait to be a patron of this new establishment. Way to go guys!!

-- Posted by Emmes on Thu, May 14, 2009, at 9:40 AM

This is fantastic!! Smoke Free how excititng!!!! It's about time people started realizing smoke free is the way to be !!! *Happy Dance*

-- Posted by Take Action on Thu, May 14, 2009, at 9:49 AM

I second the Guinness on tap motion.

-- Posted by Indymove on Thu, May 14, 2009, at 10:21 AM

This is exciting news! A smoke free bar in Brazil and healthy food choices! Date night with hubby will find us in Brazil now. Thank you for meeting the needs and wants of the Brazil Community.

-- Posted by smokefreeBrazil on Thu, May 14, 2009, at 10:28 AM

This is fantastic news! Now I can go have a few drinks with friends without having to worry about lung cancer! And the staff will be healthier too! Way to go! Now, how many other restaurants are ready to join us in the 21st century?!?!?!?

-- Posted by Towny on Thu, May 14, 2009, at 10:44 AM

Smoke Free - Add to more people to your list that will attend your restaurant if that goes through

-- Posted by 2dogbob on Thu, May 14, 2009, at 11:54 AM

Does anyone else see the irony to these comments? Bash the smokers yet promote the liver shriveling, face pickling act of drinking. Lol. Newsflash..both will kill you. Lol.

Choose your fights wisely, for now you look a bit foolish. I guess it's okay to just choose your poison and then enforce those choices on those around you. Lol.(oh wait, that's what nonsmokers say about smokers...the irony abounds)

So nice to see that a business in Brazil will be giving an alternative to those in need of one! I hope it's a BIG SUCCESS! Wtg to new management and best of luck and continued success to outgoing managment.

-- Posted by karenmeister on Thu, May 14, 2009, at 11:54 AM

This is sweet. Finally a non smoking joint in town. I'm stoked.

-- Posted by Criminology08 on Thu, May 14, 2009, at 2:47 PM

That's the first time I think I have seen him smile...it will be nice to go out to eat without feeling like you just ate a Marlboro.

-- Posted by ADJ on Thu, May 14, 2009, at 3:56 PM

I remember the old music Dave used to have playing and the smiling faces of the customers that I used to know what they were drinking everyday when they arrived. Working there with everyone was great and they were like my 2nd family!! I wish Dave all the luck in the world with his future!!

-- Posted by floridagirl on Fri, May 15, 2009, at 6:33 AM

"Regular patrons of Yesterday's will be happy to know some of the long-time associates within the business, including bartender Bev O'Neal, cook Karen John and waitresses Angela Coil and Tammy Wildman will stay on under the new management."

I wonder if the "long time associates" will stay when the new dress code of short shorts and spandex tops takes effect? Or is that the goal of having that type of dress code? To weed out the ones that won't be so comfortable in that? Just curious! And if this information is incorrect, I would love to be corrected, because a new smoke free place to eat (not much of a drinker) always gets 2 thumbs up from me!

-- Posted by hmmm on Fri, May 15, 2009, at 7:25 AM

Karen, how funny and how true!

-- Posted by claycountrygirl on Fri, May 15, 2009, at 8:37 AM

Karen, some of the people condoning smoking do not smoke or drink, and would like to be able to enjoy thier food without having to worry about the risks of secondhand smoke. I don't mind people drinking around me because it doesn't effect me, but smoking is a different story.

You must not have been aware of the effects of secondhand smoke, for now you look a bit foolish yourself ;).

-- Posted by Propria Persona on Fri, May 15, 2009, at 9:30 AM

Dave is going to be missed that is for sure. You can bet that we will make a trip to the new Yesterdays! Good luck to Dave in his new adventure.

-- Posted by WICKED on Fri, May 15, 2009, at 3:37 PM

"I don't mind people drinking around me because it doesn't effect me,"

Oh, but it does. If you were to go home from said smoke free drinking establishment, and the person drinking, maybe had to much drink hits you, that effects you. That's not to say everyone drinks to much, but ask a Police Officer just how much alcohol it takes to impair your ability. Not much.

-- Posted by claycountrygirl on Fri, May 15, 2009, at 9:29 PM

Propia (whom I adore and you know it!),

Getting smacked into by a drunk driver does affect me. I just hate when my car gets sideswiped by a drunk driver too. So indeed my friend, it does and has affected me. Keep up the good work Propria!:)

-- Posted by karenmeister on Sat, May 16, 2009, at 9:30 PM

I'm not sure where Dave's new place will be. But if it's in Plainfield, then his business will be smoke free. Plainfield has a comprehensive smoke free policy.

-- Posted by smokefreeBrazil on Tue, May 19, 2009, at 12:46 PM

I have to agree since when did he ever smile but goodluck in elsewhere so now moving forward lets eat our carrot sticks, swill back some whiskey and go drive our golf carts drunk

-- Posted by Dyna1 on Sat, May 23, 2009, at 8:10 AM

I'm really gonna miss the "old yesterdays", as I do now, being that I am currently overseas, but I will give the new restaraunt a try, Im sure it will be jus as good as Yesterdays. As a non smoker, I am greatful to be able to eat without the smells of the smoke in the air, but if it were to allow smoking, that wouldn't bother me, as I am married to a smoker myself. Good luck Dave, and thanks for the memories your establishment has given me, including the going away party my friends through me there jus before I left for training, and then before I left for Iraq. I will never forget the happy times I had there, jus wish I could have went one more time, but I know I can go to Plainfield if need be.

-- Posted by proud mom and soldier on Thu, May 28, 2009, at 5:19 PM

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