2015 is going to be a big year in the restaurant world in Downtown Indy. From frog legs to coconut curry to meatballs of every variety, Downtown is proving to be the dining hotspot in the state. Along with the huge list below, word on the street is Hyde Park Steak House, Eddie Merlot’s, Corner Bakery and Bar Louie are aggressively seeking Downtown locations.
For more on Downtown dining, visit our website.
Now open on Mass Ave! Mimi Blue offers four meatballs and one special version every day, plus seven or eight sauces and sides, including salads, linguine, polenta and mashed potatoes. I scored the veggie meatball with marinara and turkey meatball with spicy cilantro sauce and I couldn’t have been happier. Apparently, meatball shops are all the rage in bigger cities. Friends tell me The Meatball Shop, with 20,000 followers on Facebook, is the “go-to” place in NYC. Mimi Blue lives up to the hype.
Bacon Legs & Turntables
Much has been written about this new spot – currently offering a “soft launch” lunch menu in their prime location near Monument Circle. With a menu featuring all kinds of legs (yes, legs) – including turkey legs, chicken legs, frog legs and hog legs – you may want to leave your vegetarian friends at home. Come for the legs and bacon, stay for the late night music.
Perhaps the complete opposite from Bacon Legs & Turntables – at least in terms of the menu – Tinker Street will offer a variety of plant-based, vegetarian and vegan options, many priced under $15. Tinker Street will be a chef-driven, wine-centric restaurant with a focus on local ingredients. Though no specific month has been announced for the opening of Tinker Street, located off 16th Street, this new restaurant sounds worth the wait.
Opening Jan. 12 on Market Street across the Statehouse, Thai Paradise will offer classic Thai dishes including pad Thai, red coconut curry, cashew chicken, drunken noodles and more. Considering Indy’s mad love for Siam Square, Downtown Indy is ready for another Thai restaurant. The menu includes extensive offerings for vegetarians and carnivores alike.
Love burgers? Love heavy metal? Love motorcycles? You’ll get your share of all three at this new joint, set to open in April in Fountain Square next to Radio Radio. Kuma’s will play heavy metal music to complement its Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Metallica burgers, among others. You won’t find Miller or Budweiser here: the restaurant likes to support local and carries a variety of rotating craft beer at their Chicago locations. Luke Tobias, director of operations, says, “We’ll seat just under 80 inside including the bar and we’ll have an outdoor patio which will be open as weather permits in addition to plenty of off street parking and a dedicated motorcycle parking area.”
Former Colts linebacker Gary Brackett’s second Georgia Reese’s location is coming to Downtown Indy in spring 2015 next to Red’s Barber Shop on Washington Street. The comfort food/soul food dishes are inspired by family dinners Brackett grew up eating – meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans, southern fried catfish, orange coca cola rib tips and more. And because most of us are trying to stay on track with our New Year’s resolutions, the restaurant also offers a “Heart Healthy Menu” with a veggie burger, turkey patty and berry house salad, among others, plus gluten free and dairy free menus.
Louie’s Wine Dive
Vinos, this place is for you. With two wine shops already on Mass Ave –Mass Ave Wine Shop and Shiraz – a third will be opening in early 2015, proving Indy really loves our wine. The restaurant is known for its signature “big pour” (six ounces) and dishes such as lobster poutine. Another trademark: they will open any bottle, no matter the price, with the purchase of two glasses. The restaurant is called a “dive” because of its casual setting. Louie’s, you had me a “big pour.”
Just as there can never be too many wine shops, I will always welcome more ice cream to Downtown Indy, particularly gelato. Café Nonna, opening in the Fletcher Place Holy Rosary neighborhood, will serve nearly 30 from-scratch gelato flavors from a gelato machine imported from Italy. Also on the menu: cannolis, cheesecake, amaretto cake… oh my! Get the “scoop” on opening updates on their Facebook page.
St. Joseph Brewery and Public House
Opening early spring in a historic Catholic church off College Avenue, this all-ages brewpub will feature two house brews (a Kolsch and an American Pale Ale), four to 10 rotating seasonal/specialty beers and classic American cuisine.
Yard House (an American pub with more than 100 beer taps) and Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (barbecue and live music joint)
These two restaurants are opening on the ground floor of in Circle Centre Mall in 2015.
The Tap is a Bloomington-based restaurant and bar serving more than 50 beers on tap every day. If you’re looking to make the move Downtown this year, consider Pulliam Square apartments, opening in May in the former Indianapolis Star building. The Tap will be located on the ground level.
Repeal Restaurant (at 12.05 Distillery)
Opening in April, Repeal Restaurant will serve small plates (lobster macaroni and cheese, ahi tuna and burger varieties) to enjoy while sipping a 12.05 cocktail.
Cropichon et Bidibule
Downtown Indy will welcome its first French restaurant in early 2015 with French-trained chefs and classically-trained musicians. C&B will feature crepes and buckwheat galettes as well as crepe-making classes and wine dinners.
Chef JJ’s Backyard
This barbecue joint, known for the Big Green Egg, will open its second location on South Street in the former Ugly Monkey Bar location this spring. The VIP rooftop mezzanine space overlooking Lucas Oil Stadium and other Downtown attractions is sure to be a hot spot for private events.
This breakfast and lunch joint will be bringing their “Indy-famous” eggs benedict to Downtown. Currently with four other locations in Indiana, Sunrise will open its first Downtown location in the former Café Zuppa location (Chamber of Commerce building).