There’s nothing flashy or upscale about Peppy Grill in the historic Fountain Square district of Indianapolis. In fact, the small, old-style diner, which is open 24 hours a day, specializes in easygoing charm rather than an eloquent experience. The majority of the main dining area’s seating options position guests literally next to the facility’s kitchen and grill, separated from food prep by nothing more than a countertop. And while haughtier eateries might label this as chef’s counter seating, Peppy Grill is much simpler, with an all-day breakfast menu that leans heavily on eggs and potatoes. Of course, there are hamburgers on offer, and if you’re in the mood to split a sizzling steak tenderloin with a loved one, it’s possible to grab a more discreet table opposite the kitchen and cash register counter.
The griddle at Bearcats Restaurant releases sizzling applause beneath eggs, sausage, pancakes, and hot sandwiches. At the vintage booths and counters, the clatter of silverware punctuates sound from a 52-inch screen TV broadcasting football games or security-camera footage from accident-prone toupee shops. The eatery also carries a selection of wine and beer, including draughts from Indianapolis’ own Sun King Brewery.
The first IHOP—the dream of founders Al and Jerry Lapin—opened in 1958 in Toluca Lake, California, and was originally dubbed the "International House of Pancakes." Since then, rapid expansion has led to myriad milestones across the company's colorful history, from introducing its modern IHOP acronym in 1973 to its 1,000th restaurant opening in Layton, Utah, in 2001.
Today, the company stands strong with around 1,500 locations across North and Central America, each one an enthusiastic dispenser of pancakes, french toast, and tables constructed entirely out of bacon. Though IHOP is known as a bastion of breakfast, it also stays open during the day and into the evening, delivering lunch and dinner as well.