Bess Thurn opened the
Strongbow Turkey Inn on U.S. 30 in Valparaiso with 28 seats. Known for the
turkey the Thurns raised on the farm across the highway, the first menu
included hot and cold turkey and the now-famous Strongbow Turkey Pie.
Adams said that he is proud of what Strongbow has meant to his family Ð with
his mother Chuggie and father Chuck running the business from 1951-1993 when
Russ and Nancy took over. “We know that Strongbows helped put Valpo on the
map,” he said. “Who could have known that a roadside turkey restaurant with
live turkeys across the street would become the icon that it is today.”
Over the years, Strongbow has grown to not only a sizeable restaurant but
also includes banquet facilities that accommodate up to 500 people.
Strongbow currently employs 130 people.
Adams said the opportunity presented itself and with current economic
conditions and increased competition for food and expendable dollars, they
made the decision to move on.
“Sometimes when a door unexpectedly opens, you have to see what’s on the
other side,” Adams said, adding that he and Nancy had considered selling
before but had always held on. “This time the timing was right and we feel
very good about the Luke Company’s commitment to continuing the legacy of
quality food and service that Strongbow has been known for all these years,”
he said. “It had to be the right people.”
Finally Adams said, “Most of all, Nancy and I want to thank our parents, our
children, our amazing employees, and most of all our loyal customers. It is
hard to say good bye, but we say it with pride for our heritage and legacy,
and with humility and gratitude for all that Strongbow has given to us.”