restaurant openings and Bars/Taverns and Restaurants and Retail and Real Estate & Retail

Busy chef plans new downtown Indianapolis restaurant

May 7, 2011

The popular local chef behind Carmel’s Pizzology is outfitting the former home of Nia’s Deli at 38 E. Washington St. for a new restaurant called The Libertine.

Neal Brown says his new spot will serve “modern American tavern food,” along with Prohibition-era cocktails, craft beer and wine. Menu offerings—including octopus terrine, pork rilettes, a porchetta sandwich, seared foie gras and roasted beets—will be prepared in an exhibition kitchen at the end of a 25-person custom-designed bar.

Brown plans to bring in a couple of designers to look at the space, but he doesn’t expect wholesale changes to the façade or the interior. He is leasing the entire building in a three-year deal with 25 years of options, but he was coy about plans for the second floor, which is accessible from a second front door (a speakeasy perhaps?).
 

brown-neal-mug Brown

Drink offerings include: the Boot Strap, with W.H. Harrison Bourbon, amaro and sweet vermouth; the Dirty Little Whirlwind, with absinthe, Contreau, lemon bitters and orange oils; and Pimm’s Cup, with Pimm’s No. 1 liqueur, Cointreau, lime, mint and ginger ale.

Brown said he does not have a target opening date. He’s optimistic about moving quickly, though, since many of his planned updates to the space will not require government permits.

“I really have a lot of faith in that corridor of Washington Street,” he said. “The upside is unignorable.”

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