In October 1902, nautical buff Joe Stahr opened St. Elmo Steak House on South Illinois Street, naming his restaurant for the patron saint of sailors. Stahr sold the restaurant in 1947 to Burt Condon, a local tavern operator. Condon lasted six months before selling St. Elmo’s in 1948 to Harry Roth and his brothers, Sam and Ike.
In 1956, Roth’s brothers left, and Isadore (Izzy) Rosen teamed up with Harry Roth. This arrangement lasted for 30 years until 1986 when Roth and Rosen sold the business to Stephen M. Huse and Jeff Dunaway. (Huse had started the popular local Noble Roman’s pizza chain.) The business expanded into neighboring buildings over the years. Huse’s son, Craig, now maintains the establishment, still at its original location.
Since its founding, prominent entertainers, sports figures, and locals have patronized St. Elmo’s, which continues to be well-known nationally. Beyond its namesake cuts of meat, the restaurant’s most popular culinary option is its shrimp cocktail with a bold horseradish sauce.
In 2007, Huse opened Harry & Izzy’s, a spinoff of St. Elmo’s named in honor of the restaurant’s former owners. More casual than its century-old parent, Harry and Izzy’s has three locations in the Indianapolis area.