As one of Northwest Indiana's most iconic destinations, Strongbow has a history rich in tradition and family. Years ago I called Strongbow my place of employment so there is a special place in my heart for the restaurant and all of the people that make its name great.
Do you know the history of Strongbow? Do you know that this destination restaurant is nearing 100 years old? That leaves a lot of time for history to be made.
In the 1940's Dr. Walter Thrun and his wife, Bess, were proud owners of a turkey farm. It seemed only appropriate that when they opened Strongbow Inn in that decade that the main meat on the menu was turkey. But on top of the dining room, the Truns had eight cabins for overnight guests and three gas pumps.
Dr. Thrun passed in 1951, and his daughter Caroline (aka Chuggie) Thrun Adams and her husband, Chuck, stepped up and kept Strongbow running strong for sever decades. As years went by, the cabins, gas pumps, and turkey farm were removed from the property, but the old traditions and grand atmosphere still remained.
In 1993, Russ Adams and his wife, Nancy bought Strongbow from his parents and kept ownership until 2013 when Luke Companies took over ownership. The newest addition to the establishment, The Bow Bar, carries the traditions but adds a modern feel to things.
When I worked there I gained lots of great memories that will always bring a smile to my face. I haven't laughed more in any other place than in the kitchens at Strongbow. Learning skills from the talented chefs that I use to this day, talking to the guests that came from far and wide to dine, and just being part of something that has deep roots in Valpo are a few of the things that I was able to take away from my time there. I still go back from time to time with friends and family to grab a bite to eat and for great functions of which my company, Ideas in Motion Media, is part.
How lucky are we in Northwest Indiana to have so many notable and unique places like Strongbow right at our fingertips? Nowhere else in the country is there a restaurant like this one, so we need to take pride in this gem.