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DINING: Fountain Square eatery gets a turnaround

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Dining - A&E

Pure epicureans might disagree, but names matter when it comes to restaurants. Actually, I should say identities—which include names—matter.

Case in point, the ShelBi Street Café.

The former restaurant on the ground floor of the Fountain Square Building had good-enough food, appropriate price points, and a comfortable-enough atmosphere. What it didn’t have was identity. You need more than a deliberately misspelled street name and an out-of-place capital B for that.
 

Dining The fruit is accentuated, but not overwhelmed, by cinnamon and brown sugar in Brookie’s Baked Brie & Fuji Apple Sandwich. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Well, I’m happy to report that a minor reworking by the same owners has turned ShelBi Street Café and Bistro into the End of the Line Public House (1105 Prospect St., 686-6010). The name pays homage to both the trolley that used to turn around in front of the building and the completion of the Fountain Square stretch of the Cultural Trail.

End of the Line keeps some of the dishes from the ShelBi Street menu, but offers them in an atmosphere with a stronger—but not overbearing—sense of place. Vintage trolley photos line the walls, a battalion of beers (many local) dot the menu, and outdoor dining will be available when the weather improves.

The Gingham Salad ($5) with its ample toasted pecans, mixed berries and blue cheese is a worthy carryover from the venue’s previous incarnation. The Beer & Bison Burger ($10) dredges eight ounces of buffalo in Stout beer and tops it with just enough applewood smoked bacon and white cheddar.

A return visit with a guest started with plump Fresh Baked Pretzel Sticks ($6.50 for a quartet), hot and chewy on their own but with Havarti dill and Stout beer cheese dips as accompaniment.

My guest was happy with Brookie’s Baked Brie & Fuji Apple Sandwich ($10), where cinnamon and brown sugar accented but didn’t overwhelm. Meanwhile, I transitioned to a Cajun Pizza ($10), one of a dozen personal pies on the menu. Chunky chopped shrimp, slices of Andouille sausage, roasted peppers, kicking jalapenos and not-overwhelming smoked Gouda made this a hearty but balanced creation, more satisfying than what’s served in many a gourmet pizza shop.•

—Lou Harry

__________

Last in a series of visits to eateries that have recently moved into the digs of former eateries.

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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