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Restaurant raises funds for Indy Steelers Youth Football after founder killed

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Butler-Tarkington restaurant Hoagies & Hops is raising money for the Indy Steelers Youth Football Program after Richard Donnell Hamilton, the founder and head coach, was killed in a suspected road rage incident in January.

The restaurant is expecting a full house when the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl because the Pennsylvania-themed restaurant is a gathering spot for Eagles fans. Owner Kristina Mazza is charging $20 a seat to reserve one of 60 spots in her restaurant on Super Bowl Sunday and all of that money will go directly to the Indy Steelers.

“I loved everything that they did. I met Coach Hamilton, or Coach ‘Nell,’ back when I first opened. He and his wife were here, and what they have done since, I believe, 2000, which is obviously longer than I’ve been in this location, but the leadership and the mentoring and partnering with the MLK Center to help the kids in this neighborhood is just fantastic,” Mazza said.

Mazza opened in 2015 and moved her shop from downtown to the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood four years ago. She serves authentic hoagies and cheesesteaks and has the Liscio’s Rolls shipped in from South Jersey. The Dietz & Watson cold cuts come from Philly and other ingredients come from Pennsylvania Dutch Country.

“This neighborhood means a lot,” Mazza said. “When we first came in here, I mean the engagement, it almost brought me to tears at how welcoming this entire community was in accepting us into this location and into the neighborhood. So to me, all I want to do is give back to them.”

There are only four seats left to reserve as of Wednesday afternoon and Mazza expects them to go quickly.

“I’ve actually had some customers give me money because they’re not going to be here but gave me money for ‘their seats’ even though they are seats they typically have but they’re not going to be here but they’ve given extra money for me to donate.”

The fundraiser has already brought in over $1,000 for the Indy Steelers and they are expecting more donations during the big game

There will be standing-room-only for walk-ins, and carryout will be available, but Mazza expects to be slammed with orders so she encourages anyone with a large catering order to put that in by Friday.