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Former Indianapolis Colts player still searching for local franchisees for Stacked Pickle restaurant

Colts linebacker Gary Brackett hits a pad during training camp in 2010 in Anderson, Indiana. He's looking for local franchisees to open his Stacked Pickle restaurant in Northwest Indiana.

Former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Gary Brackett, a Super Bowl champion who racked up more than 700 tackles in his nine-year National Football League career, is looking for franchisees to bring his sports-themed Stacked Pickle restaurant chain to the Region.

Stacked Pickle, which bills itself as "Indy's No. 1 Neighborhood and Sports Bar," has nine locations across Indiana and is looking to expand across the country. Brackett wants to partner with a franchisee or franchisees to open multiple locations in the Region.

"When I look at the Region, I think this is something sports fans there would love," Brackett said. "Being right there on the edge of Chicago, I see how busy it is."

He would like to open four or five locations in the Region over the next few years, and is especially interested in Schererville, Munster, Highland, Merrillville and Lansing.

Brackett started the casual dining chain in 2010 after retiring from the Colts, where he was twice named the AFC Defensive Player-of-the-Week and started in their Super Bowl XLI victory over the Bears. He's since opened sit-down restaurants serving burgers, wings, salads, flatbreads, wraps, rice bowls, fried pickles, cheese curds, Buffalo mac-and-cheese and other traditional American fare across the Indianapolis suburbs, and has recently signed on franchisees in Houston, Orlando and Dayton, Ohio.

"We're talking to people in several markets, in Terre Haute, Kokomo, all over the state," Brackett said. "Any market that has a Buffalo Wild Wings could have similar success with this."

He said the Stacked Pickle concept has taken off because of fresh, never frozen ingredients and a variety of menu items at various price points, including healthy options.

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"There are a lot of different competitors and a million sports chains," he said. "We stand out because of legendary service, a family-friendly atmosphere and wider menus than at some other similar places."

The typical investment ranges from about $400,000 to $650,000.

"We look for entrepreneurial people who want to go into business for themselves and are self-motivated," he said. "We like leaders where the speed of the leader determines the speed of the pack."

Stacked Pickle restaurants are typically around 4,000 to 5,000 square feet, and can be located in existing buildings or strip malls. Brackett eventually hopes to open them across the Chicago area, especially in suburban markets like Naperville.

"It's a great brand, a great concept," he said. "Our motto in here is it's always game time. There's sports on the TV every second."

For more information, visit stackedpickle.com.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.