A&E dining: before and after

December 20, 2007
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Last Friday, after catching the musical “Assassins” at Hedback Theatre, I barely made it to the new Meridian Bar and Restaurant in time for a late dinner.

What I want to talk about now, though, isn’t the show (that review will be in the upcoming IBJ) or the restaurant (you’ll see that review in a few weeks).

Instead, I’m interested in hearing your recommendations for dining options before and after plays, concerts and gallery openings.

What’s your go-to spot after a night at Civic, a performance at Clowes Memorial Hall, or a concert at the Murat? Further, is there a great place you’ve found to eat near Brown County Playhouse or a college production at Purdue or IU?

Tell me an arts venue you’ve frequented and a nearby dining option you’d recommend.

Extra points if you don’t have to repark your car.

Your thoughts?
  • Before events at the Murat, we enjoy dinner at Agio or Scholar's Inn, since they are both nearby.

    Tomorrow before a show at the Phoenix, we are trying Barcelona on Mass Ave, a new tapas restaurant, which has been recommended by friends...
  • Bubb's Temple at the North end of the canal is the latest and greatest!
  • My mother and I attend all the Broadway shows. We especially like going to the Rathskeller before shows at the Murat. From the moment you call for a reservation to the moment you leave the restaurant, the hostesses, waiters, bartenders and anyone else working there knows you are attending a show and they work very hard to make sure you make it with at least 15 minutes to spare (I must have time to read the Playbill before the show starts!). Oh, and the food and wine hit the spot!
  • Before or after any event downtown if you are a member the Columbia Club has excellent food. Plus free valet parking if you dine there.
  • Before or after shows at the Murat, my favorites are the Rahskellar and Agio's the Rathskeller has the best pretzels in the city
  • Unfortunatley, after a show seems to be more difficult in my opinion, as restaurants here tend not to cater to the late night crowd. Now, in NYC and Chicago, even, you can catch a show and dinner after. Here, it is more like dinner before...
  • When we're going to the Murat, it's always the Rathsellar, Barcelona Tapas or Agio's. We especially like Ron, the bartender @ Agio's. Had our first dinner @ The Meridian before Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and loved the upscale menu...especially the unique Oysters Rockefeller & the Beef Carpaccio!

  • While a little downscale from most Mass. Ave. joints, during Fringe I like to try to get to Yats before a show or two. It's near all the Fringe theatres on Mass. Ave., quick, cheap, convenient (well, OK, it is a little cramped...) and consistently tasty even though the menu regularly changes.

    I've also eaten at Scholar's Inn Bakery for a quick sandwich or salad (or could try just about anything in Broad Ripple) before shows at Clowes because I'm not aware of many restaurants near the theater.

    I agree that more late night eating places for after shows would be a great idea for Indy, but there's always Steak n Shake or Red Eye Cafe just south of the Circle. And I guess there are a number of bars/pubs downtown, but I'm not sure how late their kitchens are open.
  • we seem to be going to the symphony now a days -- and at 55+ we are the pups there -- but i digress....we do a meal before at either morton's (in the bar - good appetizers) or the cheezy italian place just off the circle on market st (convenient, cheap wine and beer) or if we don't mind a bit of a hoof, harry & izzy's (and then split the burger with your bride). afterwards, if its not too late and we aren't too tired -- age does creep up -- we hit mass ave and just pick-a-spot, with the keller bar (rathskeller) or bazbeaux the clear preference.
  • Before and after theatre at the IRT we have frequented Rock Bottom for drinks and appetizers and of course Palomino's bar for mojitos and some delicious tasties!

    After the show dining can take on purposes depending on whether you are hungry or do you and your group want a place to hand out and talk about the show you have just seen. Hanging out with actor people has taught me the late night hangouts: Bourbon Street, The Old Point, The Red Key, the Melody Inn and I've seen that the Living Room has expended.

    I will add that we often meet at a place that is close to work to eat and then drive to Butler or Purdue to see the show. That comes a lot from not knowing what's good in the area. Going to the Civic allows us to go to La Hacienda for Chori Queso!
  • This is a great question; we have always had a difficult time finding a restaurant where we could enjoy a good, no make that great, dinner before a concert and still have time to make the concert. Never had time before the symphony to have a relaxed dinner with good food. We always had to go to a fast food place. The cheezy Italian place on Market was close and we would not miss the concert; it just was not the quality we wanted for a night out. A couple of years ago we went to the symphony with some friends and than went to dinner after. Looking for a restaurant at 10:30 at night was difficult. We went to the Elbow Room, (which we have always liked) and it was open at that time. Soon after we entered, Maestro Leppard came in with his guest artist and sat at the table next to us. They were talking about the fact that they also had to look for someplace to have an after concert dinner. Needless to say we were the only two tables occupied at that time of night. (There is no place downtown to have a nice after show dinner that we know of.) Just recently we went to Clowes but this time we wanted to eat before the show. I won't tell you where we did eat because it was terrible. But it was fast and close. We just wanted soup and salad. So we too (two) want some good resturants that we can enjoy before and after concerts and plays. Now for a great dinner, we have gone to RBistro. Forget about going before or after a concert. Just enjoy....45 minutes for wine, 45 minutes for appetizers, hour and a half for dinner and you are on your own for dessert and coffee. Then just smile all the way home. (no I do not work for them.)
  • It's not just Indy, London is terrible for post-theatre dining. But for late-nite bites here in town, Old Point is the best. Great apps and sandwiches and no deep fryer!
  • Puck's before events at Clowes. I've always had great service and great food!
  • My new favorite place to go to before going to the Indianapolis Civic Theatre is called Machu Picchu Restaurant. It is not within walking distance, but it is fairly close: 5356 W 38th St, Indianapolis, IN 46254. You turn in near the Hooter's, which tells you a little about the sketchy feel of the whole strip mall, but the restaurant itself, inside, is clean, bright, and comfortable.

    More importantly the Peruvian food is YUMMY and affordable. The two times that I have been there, only the waiter and I have spoken English, which makes me think the food is authentic. Try the blue corn cola and the mashed potato appetizer.

    I like to go to the Scholar's Inn for a decadent brunch before going to a Sunday afternoon show at the IRT, but that restaurant is always super busy on the weekends, so it is important to go EARLY to make a 2:00 or 2:30 show. One of these Sundays I am going to see if Cafe Patachou is open across the street (diagonally) from the IRT. I like their restaurants in Broad Ripple and Carmel.

    One night at the IRT, I overheard someone from Chicago asking where he and his friends could get a good meal before they headed back north. The person sitting next to him said, St. Elmo's Steakhouse. 'Seriously good food, and they are open 'til 11:00 on weekends.

    I like YATS, too, as someone else mentioned, and also the fresh salads and homemade comfort food at Henry's on East. Oh! And the coconut cake! The one time I tried it, I remembered the delicious taste for days. This coffee shop next to Outward Bound Bookstore came under new ownership this year.
  • PS - I like Agio's, too, but it costs more than I usually want to spend. However, I just realized that I have been there five times - twice with one friend from out of town and three times with groups - and enjoyed it very much every time.

    The food is pretty as well as delicious, and the service is good: the servers know how to talk about the food in an inviting way, and they know how to bring it out in a timely manner.

    I rarely drink, but my friend from New York spoke well of the cocktails. I think she had a special martini.

    Agio's is also attractive because it is within walking distance of TOTS, ACT, the Phoenix, and the comedy place on Mass. Ave. (why can I never remember its name?)
  • The comedy place is called ComedySportz. I'm a player there, so it's Yats all the way for a cheap, filling, before-show meal. If I'm going theater-ing, I'm a big fan of Bazbeaux or India Garden, which recently opened next to BARcelona Tapas on Delaware Street. After show drinks? Chatham Tap or Old Pointe.
  • Elements is always a favorite - and it's one of the few restaurants downtown that actually stays open late! If you don't want a full meal at 10 p.m., you can always share a few appetizers and dessert.

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