When Shoup’s Country Foods, Inc. took over management of Frankfort Commons golf course, it was just a matter of time before the local company would add its own flavor to the clubhouse.
On July 8, Frankfort Commons had its ‘soft’ opening of The Fox Den – a pub-style restaurant featuring a Shoup’s-inspired menu.
“We wanted there to be nothing common about it,” said Cindy Shoup Cacy, co-owner of Shoup’s Country Foods. “We didn’t want it to just be hot dogs. We really wanted to have something special to offer our community.”
Shoup’s already owned and operated Arborwood by Shoup’s, nestled inside the golf course and across the parking lot from the Frankfort Commons clubhouse. Once Shoup’s took on management of the course, they were impressed by the work being done by course superintendent, Ryan Tunmer, and the grounds crew, which they retained.
“He was doing a fantastic job with the course,” Cindy Shoup Cacy said. “So, we knew if that piece of the puzzle was filled, then the other pieces of the puzzle would be to fill the management position of the golf course and, of course, we are foodies. We love food. So, we thought ‘We never had a restaurant. Maybe we could feature some of our products and be able to have a little bit more than a hot dog available for the golfers.’
“Our vision really got started because of our management of Arborwood,” she added. “Since we share a parking lot with the golf course, it was just a natural progression for us to move into the management of the golf course. We are now managing the entire property, parking lot and everything that is located right here. We just thought of it as an extension of Arborwood. We wanted to give something back to the community. We wanted the community to have something to be proud of and something the community could use. We thought there could be a lot more community focus at the golf course. It was managed by out-of-state firms that really didn’t have the community involvement that we have.”
Cacy said they had a vision for what the club house could be.
“We wanted to make it more into a place that people wanted to spend time,” she said. “We wanted it to be a fun place to be. So, we wanted to create more of a pub-type atmosphere for the golfers and a fun place for Frankfort people to be able to go because anybody can come here. The entire public is welcome.”
Cacy says the entire facility has been updated and remodeled from end to end.
“We just really wanted great food,” she said. “We wanted something that we could be proud of and the community could be proud of. We wanted to design a menu of foods that we love. And, hopefully, everyone else will love them too. We have a hard time not eating here. But it has been great. We want to make this a top-of-the-line golf facility but also a top-of-the-line facility just for our community and to be able to pick up food or eat inside.”
Cacy says that months went into creating the menu at The Fox Den.
“We have had tastings. We have had a lot of input from our staff and our family on what should be on the menu,” she said. “It was really hard. We started out with a huge menu. We still have a pretty big menu, but we had to condense it down to what we thought would be good for the golf course and would be good for everybody. And we are pretty happy with what we ended up with.”
Shoup’s also took months finding chefs Josh Adams, Jon Smith and Dallas Garrett.
“Josh is from Rossville, and Jon is originally from Delphi and lives in Lafayette,” Cacy said. “Assisting my culinary team, new, is Dallas Garrett, and he is from Frankfort.
“I am really happy that we have three wonderful guys that have worked really hard to make this menu come to life,” Cacy added. “They have shared in our vision. They understand to ‘Shoup it up.’ They use both of our seasonings – our regular Shoup’s seasoning and our new steak seasoning. And, of course, our barbeque sauce.”
Among the more popular specialty sandwiches on The Fox Den menu are The Ricky Fowler, The Triple Tiger and Grandma’s Green Bean Sandwich.
“We have the Ricky Fowler, which is actually our beef and our steak seasoning on it,” Cacy said. “It has bacon and is topped with barbeque sauce, pepper jack cheese, fried onions and hot pepper bacon jam on a toasted brioche bun. It is pretty knock-out.
“The Triple Tiger, named after Tiger Woods, is pretty popular with shaved ham, pulled pork, bacon, topped with cheddar cheese and Shoup’s barbeque sauce on a bun,” she added. “We wanted to get a special porkburger in there, too, so we are making the Cubano Porkburger, which I thought was a pretty original idea. We have ham, pulled pork, swiss cheese, dill pickles and our own homemade stone-ground mustard on a bun. That is a great one, too.”
Like the name suggests, the green bean sandwich was inspired by one Grandma Shoup always made for the family.
“We used to always eat green bean sandwiches in the summertime,” Cacy said. “It was always a fresh-from-garden sandwich. So, we always had fresh green beans, fresh tomatoes and fresh onions from the garden. So, we would just stack that on some grilled bread or toast with mayo and a little bit of salt. It is fresh, tender green beans cooked with bacon, and then you put them on your bread with a slice of tomato, a slice of onion and mayo, and it just makes the best sandwich.”
The Fox Den also offers unique sides along with some appetizers and lighter fare.
“We wanted a limited menu but focus on the quality,” Cacy said. “So, after getting our team of chefs together, they said they wanted to do hand-battered onion rings made from scratch. They also wanted to do a hand-breaded tenderloin. Also, we have our spin on pickles called ‘pickle fries.’ They are long, light and skinny, and they are awesome. We have a green chili queso mac and cheese that is really good. We also have been mixing up our own spicy lime cilantro ranch dressing, and it goes on the side of almost everything. It has been our No. 1 dressing that we are serving.
“One of the favorites is the Foxy’s Quesadilla,” she added. “That is almost the No. 1-ordered item. Also, the southwest chicken wrap is really good. Our chef out at Shoup’s, Julia, makes our chicken salad. We are selling it at our store as well as featuring it here. We feature it either on a bun, in a wrap or on top of lettuce. It is a great summer favorite, too.
“We have really been working hard the last couple months to get everything going, and we finally got it open (July 8), and we have had great feedback in the community. It has been good.”