Monday, March 8, 2021

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Cafe to Return to Five Points Area

An undated photo of Lucky 7 Cafe, 418 Miller Ave., Shelbyville, shows the building as it’s remembered by many locals. | submitted


Almost daily, a few motorists pull aside to ask Chuck Prather the same two questions: 

  1. Are you tearing down the old Lucky 7 Cafe? (“No, we’re re-doing it and turning it back into a dining room,” Prather assures them.)

  2. Are you going to have biscuits and gravy? (“Yes!”)

Even Judy, former operator of Judy’s Cafe, a successor of Lucky 7, stopped by Friday, Prather said, to ask if the building was being demolished.

It’s a fair question. The roof is off and the back wall rebuilt. “I’m on dumpster number five right now,” Prather said. His 25 years in the drywall business are coming in handy as he renovates the previously dilapidated building. “We offered (the out-of-state owner) $5,000 and he said, ‘I’ll sell it to you for $4,000,’” Prather said. He and his wife, Nadine, also cleared up liens on the property.

It’s not their only business venture. Nadine and Markita Turvey are partners at Infinity Home Care Plus, which recently moved to larger quarters on E. State Road 44. Infinity had 27 employees at the start of the pandemic and has grown to almost 80 in the past year, Nadine Prather said.

“I don’t ask anybody to do anything that I haven’t done and wouldn’t do,” she said. “Both he and I are like that.” Now, it’s Chuck’s turn to run the business of his dreams.

“I never hurt my back doing drywall, but I’m not trying to test time,” he said. “I want to do what I love to do.” And what the 1986 Shelbyville High School graduate loves to do is cook.

He learned the tricks of the trade first-hand from his mother, Karen Wadley; once worked as a cook at the old Mac’s Steakhouse; catered his own wedding; and has talked about opening a restaurant on the west side of town for over a decade. After offering some taste tests months ago, the wheels were put in motion to launch The Lucky 7 Cafe. 

The remodeled structure will include seven original, re-chromed bar stools from the previous iteration. Menu options will sound familiar to locals, too: rotating dinner specials such chicken-and-dumplings, brisket chili-cheese steak, pulled pork, beef and noodles, Taco Tuesdays, sausage and peppers - “...that taste like you’re walking down the fairway,” Prather says - Indiana tenderloins, foot-long chili-cheese dogs with homemade sauce, and desserts such as sugar cream pie - “from the stovetop to the refrigerator” - deep-fried Oreos and Twinkies, funnel cakes, and bread pudding, among standard diner staples. Dine-in and take-out options will be available.

“I’m going to make as much of it as I can, homemade,” Chuck Prather said. “I’m going to make you the stuff I like to eat.”

The Prathers are hoping to open The Lucky 7 Cafe near the beginning of July.


Ted and Lori Pike open for the day at WildFlour Artisan Bakery in St. Paul, Saturday, March 5. The pastry and treats provider has thrived in the former Corner Restaurant and bank building at E. Washington and N. Webster streets since 2016. Lori Pike began selling at the Shelbyville Farmer’s Market over a decade ago. Hours are 7 to 10:30 a.m., Saturdays only. | Kristiaan Rawlings


  • Shelby County Commissioners today will hear a utility request from Great Plains Communications regarding various locations, starting at CR E 225 S and ending at Old State Road 252/S 500 W.

  • Indiana Federation of Business & Professional Women/Shelbyville meeting recap: A nominating committee for 2021-2022 officers was selected consisting of Anne Thurston, chair; Theresa Adams and Martha Collier. The committee will present a slate at the April 6 meeting. Sherry Moore reported that the Women Helping Women and Career Advancement scholarships will be available this year.  Joanne Bowen and Mohr will be guests at a “Chamber Chat” on the local radio station on March 26. Beth Case, Taylor Davis and Gayle Henderson attended the District 2 meeting on March 6 in Knightstown; Case was reelected District 2 Secretary. The next meeting will be April 7, 2021, and Linda Sanders, Business Development Representative for Wessler Engineering, will be guest speaker. Anyone interested in attending a meeting or special event may contact Membership Chairman Carolyn Austin at or any member.  The mission of INFBPW is to promote and support women personally, professionally and politically.

  • As of yesterday, the state reported 4,635 positive coronavirus cases in Shelby County, an increase of 2 from the previous day, out of 18,468 tests, an increase of 28 from the day before. The number of deaths for Shelby County remained the same, at 91. As of yesterday, the state reported 8,047 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Shelby County, an increase of 191 from the previous day, and 5,445 have been fully vaccinated, an increase of 138 from the previous day.

  • HOOSIER NEWS: Indianapolis Public Schools will return to all in-person learning in its high schools and middle schools after spring break on April 5, the superintendent said. The decision was made based on updated data and a recent discussion with the Marion County Health Department, Superintendent Aleesia Johnson said Friday. Schools must be able to maintain 3 feet of social distancing, require masks, and ensure a strong contact tracing protocol. Middle and high school students are now on a hybrid model to curb the spread of COVID-19. In January, students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade — except for sixth graders on a middle school schedule — returned to a full in-person schedules at school. (Indiana Public Media)

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"This Week in Shelby County" works by George L. Stubbs Sr. are owned by the Shelby County Historical Society (Grover Center) and used with permission.


News around Shelbyville and the surrounding area as reported on or about this date in history. Selections are curated from the Shelby County Public Library Genealogy Department.

20 YEARS AGO: 2001
The Morristown Town Council held a meeting at Dodds Hall to address concerns from the public about a proposed power plant to be built in the industrial park by a New Jersey firm.

30 YEARS AGO: 1991
Gasoline prices dipped below $1-a-gallon locally for the first time in nine months. The price had risen during the Gulf War.

The more than 1,900 customers on the 525 exchange in the Waldron-St. Paul area were moved to a digital phone system. The upgrade also gave customers the option of call forwarding and call conferencing.

40 YEARS AGO: 1981
The SHS Golden Bears outlasted Indian Creek in double-overtime to move into the Columbus Regional championship game. Junior Jeff Knecht scored 22 points.

50 YEARS AGO: 1971
After review of 28 applicants, the city board of works hired David K. Phares, 1303 Beverly St., as pound master (dog catcher). Phares, a General Electric employee, had prior training as a dog handler while in the Army, The Shelbyville News reported.

60 YEARS AGO: 1961
A public meeting was held at the Triton High School gym in Fairland to discuss construction of a new junior-senior high school. The school would be located on a 40-acre tract of land on the Wendell Dake farm in the south part of Moral Township.

70 YEARS AGO: 1951
Indiana University center and Shelbyville native Bill Garrett closed out his collegiate career with 21 points in a 68-58 victory over Wisconsin. Garrett was named to the Big 10 Conference first team by the Associated Press. Incidentally, Garrett had also closed out his high school career with 21 points in a 68-58 win over Terre Haute Garfield for the state basketball championship.

Girls of the SHS senior class that were named to the annual May Queen’s Court were announced. They included Mary Ann Anderson, Sue Ann Green, Charlotte Main, Jackie Nail, Joan Ricke, and Monna Thomas. Fred Gahimer was the Lord Mayor by virtue of his high school scholastic standing.

Shelbyville’s city council approved the City purchasing real estate in what was known as the Hollywood section, located north and adjacent to the levee on the south side of Big Blue River at the northwest edge of the city, for a future park. The council also approved purchasing property to eliminate a dead end at the western end of Third St., so as to make it a through street, now Parker Ave., connecting Miller Ave. and Miller St.

Mrs. Clifford Newton was named by county commissioners to be the first woman justice of peace constable in the history of Shelby County.

80 YEARS AGO: 1941
Under the leadership of coach Frank Barnes, the Shelbyville Golden Bears won the sectional basketball crown after a five-year drought. Team members were James Whisman, Eugene McNew, Paul Ash, Harold Peck, Bob Handley, Junior Allison, Paul Dickman, “Jelly” Brown, Jack McComas, Paul Wycott, Wally Page, and Tom Sadler.

Leota Taylor and Miriam Weintraut handled 1,500 phone calls to The Republican office from people asking for scores from the basketball tournaments. The local telephone office received an additional 19,000 calls within a 24-hour period.

Rev. Ernest Ford, pastor of First Christian Church, delivered a sermon on “Hitler Will Not Conquer the World.” Ford explained, “The Bible says, ‘the meek shall inherit the earth - and Hitler certainly is not meek.”

90 YEARS AGO: 1931
Two brothers living at the opposite ends of town reported having their vehicles stolen. The cars were later recovered, one in the St. Joseph schoolyard, the other parked on Conrey Street.

Reports were made of attempted hold-ups of vehicles leaving the Chambers factory and Kennedy Car Liner. The KCL employee had stepped on the gas to avoid being stopped by the two men.

100 YEARS AGO: 1921
The Shelbyville Commercials baseball team re-committed for another season. Home games would be played at the fairgrounds with John Brown as coach. There had been doubt as to whether the season would occur while the new diamond was built on West Street, but the fairgrounds’ location saved the day.

Local police searched for a 40-year-old man and a 32-year-old married woman, who had allegedly eloped. Family members said the two “had been suspected of keeping company for some time,” The Republican said. The man was described as “being lame in the right leg, baldheaded and wearing a toupee.” In a note left to her husband, the woman said, “Be good to (my brother), as he is homeless.” She also left a note for her brother that said, “If you get any switches, don’t take it to heart like I did.”


Mary Ellen Arthur, 79, of Rushville, passed away on March 4, 2021 in Rushville. She was born on April 15, 1941 in Columbus, IN to Lillian Stoner. Mary was a 1959 graduate of Batesville High School and attended some college at Indiana University. She married Ralph H. Arthur on December 26, 1999 and he preceded her in death on September 1, 2003. Mary worked in the medical field throughout her life from Home Health Care to assisting at Flat Rock River Lodge for 6 years. She was a former member of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary, American Legion Post 150, and the Eagles Lodge. Mary always spoke very highly of how sweet and caring her friends were in Rushville.

Mary is survived by her children, Robert (Julie) Swegman of Milan, IN, Peggy Mae (Walter) Kunz of Wilmington, NC, and Tammy Willbanks of Dallas, TX; ex-husband, Danny (Anna) Swegman of Paris, TN; step-sons, Joe (Laurie) Swegman of Greensburg, IN, Robert Arthur of Columbus, OH, Ken (Jan) Arthur of Portland, IN, Jon (Liz) Arthus of Waldron, IN, Ward (Jan) Arthur of Boston, MA, Roger Arthur of Boston, MA; stepbrothers, Carl Tedrow and Donnie Tedrow; step-sister, Mary Louise (Bill) Goodman. She will also be missed by her 6 grandchildren, several step-grandchildren and one great-grandchild, Kennedy Rose.

Mary is preceded in death by her mother, husband and step-son, Pat Arthur.
Memorial service will be held at Noon on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 in Moster Mortuary, Rushville with Pastor Chip West presiding. Friends are welcome to visit the family from 11 AM until time of service.