Local hotspots featured in U.S. 40 dining guide

HANCOCK COUNTY — Several local eateries are set to be featured in a statewide publication drawing attention to the National Road.

The Indiana National Road Association last year published a guide promoting Indiana’s six scenic byways, including U.S. 40, or the Old National Road. The National Road portion of the publication features nine businesses and restaurants along the east-west road, including Greenfield’s Lincoln Square Pancake House, said the association’s president, Bob Hunt. The publication brought enough tourists to the nine sites throughout the state to encourage another pamphlet from the association promoting just U.S. 40, Hunt said.

In late May or early June, the association will release its inaugural Dine and Drive Passport, which features about 50 eateries along the U.S. 40 corridor from Richmond to Terre Haute, including Greenfield restaurants such as the pancake house and Florida Cracker BBQ, just south of U.S. 40 on State Road 9.

Association officials hope the Dine and Drive Passport will encourage Hoosiers to travel along the Old National Road and make stops at the featured eateries, Hunt said.

The Hancock County Tourism Commission has supported the association’s efforts, giving $1,075 for printing costs. The association aims to print about 10,000 of the pamphlets at a cost of about $6,000, Hunt said.

“It’s an ambitious project, but I think people are really going to find it interesting,” Hunt said. “I find myself in all these different places and think, ‘I’m going to come back here.’ We’re hoping people will pick up a copy and get traveling.”

Each business or restaurant featured pays a nominal fee to be included in the pamphlet, and visitors centers along U.S. 40 help fund the printing costs to encourage trips to their area, Hunt said. The pamphlets are free to tourists; the association also plans to use its social media presence to promote the new effort, he added.

Some restaurants are offering promotions to diners who use the passport, from discounts to free items.

Florida Cracker BBQ will offer each traveler with a passport a complimentary dessert, said owner Bill Clifford.

“We liked the idea of the passport,” he said. “The whole thing is neat.”

The association decided to include Lincoln Square Pancake House in its upcoming publication because it was the most popular stop out of the 67 on the passport last year, Hunt said.

“They approached me last year, and … it was a big success,” said Lincoln Square Pancake House owner Costas Stylianou. “It’s a good thought behind all this.”

Last year, the restaurant handed out about 300 passports to its customers, Stylianou said.

For more information about the Dine and Drive Passport, visit the association’s website at indiananationalroad.org.

If you go

The “Dine and Drive Passport,” a publication of the Indiana National Road Association, will feature at least two Greenfield area restaurants, Lincoln Square Pancake House and Florida Cracker BBQ. The pamphlet is set to be released later this month and will be available at featured restaurants or at indiananationalroad.org.

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Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or rhatcher@greenfieldreporter.com.