A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Allen Neyhart

A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Allen Neyhart

One year ago Allen Neyhart and his wife, Christy, decided it was time to become serious about their dreams and invest in purchasing a restaurant. As of today this restaurant is well known as Benchwarmer’s; a family dining establishment based on quality service and food while featuring all things sports. 

“When me and my wife were throwing around names for the restaurant we one day thought of Benchwarmers, it really just stuck. We decided to name our restaurant that because we’ve always loved sports,” Neyhart said. 

The Neyhart’s not only own the newly established Benchwarmer’s, they also own quite a few concession trailers for the fairs and festivals in Lake County, Porter County, and Illinois. The trailers the Neyhart’s own consist of quite a few different tastes and are as follows; appetizers and vegetables, handmade pretzels, elephant ears, and old-fashioned root beer. Neyhart began his mostly summertime adventure of fairs and festivals with his wife eight years ago and since then has had a blast getting to work in such a fun environment. 

“My wife had been running the fair and festival business for quite a while before I started helping her, but we’ve really expanded since then. I would say the best part about being able to work at the fairs and festivals is meeting all the happy people that walk through the venues and getting to have fun with the job,” said Neyhart

Neyhart believes that the most special part about being a business owner with his wife is being able to be in control of his and the restaurant's destiny. He also enjoys meeting new people and finding different ways to keep his customers coming back in for another meal. The Neyhart’s decided that investing in themselves was the right move due to the fact that both Neyhart and his wife always obtained a dream of being business owners. 

“Me and my wife always had a big dream of owning our own business one day. She had always wanted to own a restaurant and I had just always wanted to be a business owner. When we heard about the empty space that would perfectly fit a restaurant we took it. The timing was perfect,” Neyhart said. 

Two pieces of advice Neyhart would like to give to any aspiring business owner is to never give up, no matter how difficult the task might be. Two, make sure to keep your customers happy and find the most effective ways to get your business name out there. For Neyhart, he believes the biggest key to his restaurant's success has been his hard-working employees. 

When Neyhart is not managing his businesses he enjoys watching his favorite Chicago sports teams (the Cubs, the Bears, the Bulls, and the Blackhawks) and attending their games when possible, listening to all types of music, and attending as many concerts as he can. Some of his favorite concerts he ever went to were the Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam, and AC/DC. He also enjoys spending time with his children and grandchild. And he especially loves to go on date nights with his wife.