Business

Iconic Mug n Bun drive-in restaurant on market for $2 million

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — Mug n Bun is said to be the oldest drive-in restaurant in Indianapolis.

It opened in 1960 and has been a staple on the west side of Indianapolis and in the town of Speedway ever since.

This week, the owner listed the property for just over $2 million, and people are lining up to take a look.

Kelly Hickey and a group of investors have a keen eye for the Mug n Bun. “It needs a little work don’t it,” Hickey said. “I would say it is worth a lot of money, where it is sitting and the location and everything. The way Speedway is building up out here, I think it will bring a lot.”

The owner is selling the distinctive yellow and brown building with the inventory, and the name of the business stays firmly planted on the sign next to the road. There are four buildings included in the sale: the restaurant, a house, a smaller building known as the pizza building, and the fourth building used for indoor dining. The current owner renovated the indoor dining building to stay open year-round.

Daniel Denny, a lifelong westsider, told I-Team 8 that he started coming to the restaurant 50 years ago. He heard about the sale and had to see for himself.  

“The food is great here…best root beer in town,” Denny said. “I usually get the tenderloin when I come in here, and the fried pickles.”

Mug n bun was a cash-only business until 2010, when the current owner started taking credit and debit cards. Tips are mainly cash, while a few of the servers do accept Venmo.

For the better part of the past five decades, the building and the menu has remained the same. The large red Mug n Bun sign painted on the building has weathered the times unchanged. The root beer is made on site. The onion rings are cut by hand. The coney sauce is made on location. The attention to detail attracts customers from all over the state and country. But, as word of a sale starts to circulate, Anderson native Johnny Cox decided it was time to finally stop in for lunch. 

“This is my first time being here. I know it’s sad, but it is,” Cox said. 

The agent representing the property told I-Team 8 that the current owner would like to sell to someone willing to keep the business going.

Mug n Bun has had only two owners since it opened in 1960.

A condition of the sale: The owner is asking that the most recognizable parts of the business remain intact.