Growing up, Steve Lindsay, ’10, and his brother Brian Lindsay watched as their parents worked as entrepreneurs, owning their own furniture store.
The brothers graduated with degrees in mechanical engineering, but after several years in the corporate world, the itch to do something on their own needed to be scratched. The two opened HandleBar, a peddle pub business in Indianapolis.
“We grew to the point where we were able to leave our corporate jobs to go all in on the HandleBar experience,” Steve Lindsay says. “As much as our parents didn’t want us to leave our corporate jobs and follow them into entrepreneurship, we did.”
The business expanded into Detroit and the two spent five years looking for a brick-and-mortar storefront to serve as a home base for an expansion of their experiences business. The brewery that used to be at the start and stop location for HandleBar in Indianapolis closed in late 2022, and the brothers decided to go all in, opening The Hangar earlier this year.
“We don’t really want to be restaurant and bar owners,” Brian Lindsay says. “We really want to be an activities bar. Of course, when people are doing activities, they’ll want to eat and drink. But our focus, and what we enjoy, is giving people something fun to do.”
The Hangar is 7,500 square feet, has golf simulator bays, and hosts crafting events. HandleBar still starts and stops out front of the location. And being just two blocks away from Lucas Oil Stadium, the bar became home of the official Alumni Territory Tailgate before the Wolverines beat the Iowa Hawkeyes to win the team’s third straight league title on Dec. 2.
The bar had a longest drive contest in the golf simulators and took guests on rides in the peddle pubs to check out all the tailgating and pregame festivities. During the game, the bar tuned in on a 150-inch TV and turned the golf bays into screens to watch the game as well.
While the bar doesn’t host official watch parties during U-M games, they often have them on televisions in the bar, and the paint throughout the building is maize and blue.
“We tell people that’s for the [Indiana] Pacers that are two blocks away,” Steve Lindsay says, laughing.
Brian Lindsay, who graduated from Michigan Tech University but took classes at U-M, says their backgrounds in engineering have been helpful as they have gone into business for themselves.
“Engineering is problem solving,” he says. “And that’s pretty much what being an entrepreneur is — it’s basically problem solving. Those skills have transferred to what we’re doing now.”
Jeremy Carroll is the content strategist for the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan.