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Fallen Piere’s founder ‘really cared’


– In 1984, Stan Liddell bought a northeast-side shopping center that had been the home of a supermarket and insurance company, but in his mind he envisioned the beginnings of an “area that all will blend into one total experience.”

That’s what he told The Journal Gazette, and soon after, the Marketplace of Canterbury became a hub for those looking to immerse themselves in the nightlife.

Bars and restaurants sprang up, along with tattoo shops and fast-food joints over the years. And all of them have been anchored by what Liddell may be most commonly known for:

Piere’s Entertainment Center.

H. Stanley Liddell Jr., 76, died Monday from complications due to a stroke, according to his son.

“There were always two sides to my dad,” said Herbie Liddell, who is now in control of the nightclub his father built.

“There was the business and work ethic side, and there was the family side of him. The family side of him, he was never without advice.”

Liddell owned Piere’s as well as a variety of other businesses throughout his life, including the north-end Trolley Steaks & Seafood, also known as the Trolley Bar, and a car parts company he once bought from his mother.

After buying the Marketplace of Canterbury and creating Piere’s, Liddell became widely known as the popularity of the nightclub grew and began attracting people from not only Indiana but Ohio, as well.

A 1994 profile of the man published in The News-Sentinel called the nightclub business a “brass-knuckle arena” where “Liddell is the reigning champ in Fort Wayne.”

His business influence reached into several areas, and he was even involved in a group that wanted to bring a casino to Fort Wayne at one point.

“People that I know, who are still working in the area, have somehow worked for him or in conjunction with him or have received finances from him,” said Jim Garigen, the owner of the food truck JumBy’s Joint who worked some events at Piere’s as a food consultant over the years.

“If you really knew the guy, you’d know what he stood for, and that is he really cared for his customers,” Garigen continued.

Garigen noted that while Liddell was heavily involved in businesses, he also took the time to be involved with or provide a place for charitable events, such as the Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County’s “Stand Up For Hunger” event this weekend at Trolley Steaks & Seafood, 2898 E. Dupont Road.

Liddell’s son said his father always had the wheels in his head turning when it came to business ventures, but he echoed Garigen’s words in that Liddell was always ready to help others.

“He was definitely a giver,” said Herbie Liddell, who said his father had taken a turn for the worse on Friday. “He loved helping people. He had been through so much, he didn’t have any problem in expressing himself or giving people good advice.”