Feast on Indiana Live!

March 13, 2009
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Indiana Live!The $200-million Indiana Live! casino opened Friday night in Shelbyville. If the free-money giveaways around town, faux Obama commercials and the buzz around a promised ribbon-cutting appearance by Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake* convinced you to attend the grand-opening, share your thoughts here. The building itself is quite a dramatic sight from Interstate 74, especially after seeing miles of cornfields. The project was designed by Las Vegas-based Klai Juba Architects and Cleo Design, firms that worked on some of the most-recognized casinos on the Las Vegas Strip including Mandalay Bay and MGM Grand. The 233,000-square-foot casino was developed and will be managed by Baltimore, Md.-based The Cordish Company. Besides all the slot machines and electronic table games, the snazzy facility gives Shelbyville a dining attraction that rivals The Cow Palace.

A few observations from a preview event:
  • The highlight of the casino's food offerings is the Indiana Live! Market, a bazaar of fresh and packaged foods that resembles the perfect-world vision of downtown's City Market. You can choose from just about any type of food from sushi to steaks, stirfry to pizza, candies to gelato. Prices are well labeled and reasonable; a grilled-to-order 12-ounce sirloin is $9 and a whole chicken is $8.

  • The casino's casual sports bar is Nascar Sports Grille, a concept with one other location, at Universal Studios in Orlando. The 265-seat restaurant features a circular bar at its center with a race-driven Dale Earnhardt car hanging above.

  • The anchor restaurant is Maker's Mark Bourbon House & Lounge, which also is part of a small chain. The concept has locations in Louisville and Kansas City, but the Indiana Live! restaurant is an upscale iteration. The 205-seat steakhouse features a wood-burning oven, high-back chairs and its own pastry shop.


  • *Timberlake and Biel didn't show. Was it all just a hoax to attract larger crowds? For more, check out Lou Harry's A&E
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    • Vegas comes to Shelbyville. Now there's a mind-bending concept.

      Do they have enough tractor and combine parking for all the Dale Jr. fans?
    • LOL on that comment, Thundermutt. Perhaps the better choice is the Maker's Mark while Red Neckerson entertains at the NAPCAR Sports? Grille.
    • Oh, I forgot, I'm headin' for Compton's Cow Palace! Now that's some good eatin'!!!
    • Get some Human Dealers and lose the Electronic Games and I'll be a regular.

      I will likely check it out, but I just cannot justify spending my time staring at a TV screen while gambling. I'd much rather make the drive to French Lick or just wait til the next Vegas trip.

      Isn't Dealer interaction part of the environment, not to mention the job creation. You are replacing a human with a TV screen. Indiana, if you've made the leap to this, just dive on in with the Dealers.
    • I attended the preview event and found the Makers Mark Bourbon House & Lounge decor pretty awesome + the food was great.

      It was a easy 20 minute drive so we will be sure to go back & check it out.


      Hi Cory, sorry we didn't get a chance to chat!
    • We need a casino in downtown Indy!!!
    • These racinos would howl if a downtown Indy casino is proposed. And rightfully so.
      I tire of people (like Eddie White) thinking that casinos are the answer to all ills. They create significant problems that we are conveniently ignoring.
    • Now Cory, come on, I'm an Ex-Shelbyville resident and nothing can outdo the Cow Palace....hmmm blue moon shakes. :)

      I was there and part of the VIP process, I liked the facility a lot. When you walk in it's open but well defined in the areas. The drinks were strong (we'll see how long that last), music was good, a good variety of options, and staff was friendly - and surprisingly with it and in the know about the facility. It was sort of like Circle Center MAll Food Court with the Center Bar and stage and restaraunts scattered along the edge.

      I think they need a few more bartenders, prices were average on drinks, the rock angels looked good, and I was impressed with the diversity of the crowd. I'll be going back, but thankfully I know enough of the back roads to not get ensnarled in that traffic jam.

      I heard that JT & Biel were delayed (they weren't at the ribbon cutting) but that they did come later in the evening and hang out into the night in the high stakes area and Makers Mark area.
    • Is it all smokey like the other HickCasinos?
    • Just stay home and play with your Barbie Da Hooey.
    • I've driven by this many times and it looks like a complete eye-sore. They may have well picked up a piece of Fishers and dropped it in a cornfield. I'm probably overly harsh on Fishers but I just really don't care for that artificial facade feel. In my opinion, it looks cheap and dated.

      I'm just really disappointed that this is such a big deal around here. I'm not anti-casinos in principle, but I think this creates an irreversible negative mark on the character of the area.
    • does anyone know what Gourmet Franks is?? Its going in the that new bldg in broad ripple across from Monkeys tale and Ambrosia, etc...I cant find any info on it anywhere.
    • Does it still look like the world's biggest TGI Friday's?
    • Hoosier Park in Anderson is much better than the Shelbyville casino....and it helps pay my salary ;)
    • The Cow Palace...mmm. So, is Wolfgang Puck completely kicked out of Indiana?
    • gourmet franks is being run outta the back of that building by some Cali freind of the building owner. Looks like a scam to me. Pretty sure that sign is in violation of something...

      Casino - nice jab, but your casino still is ful of fat people smoking and spending their Fed Gov checks and looking forward to medicaid/medicare deathbeds. and Barbie isn;t her name. :lol:
    • Another great example of a bastion of frivolity the legislators have thrust upon the taxpayers. And, as Da Hooey has illustrated, who takes advantage of those preposterous facilities? Why those with the limited resources of government checks, you know blue haired ladies and stogie smokin' gents past their prime. The others are there listenin' to the imaginary hucksters that would be saying, Don't make me holler, don't make me shout, turn them pockets inside out. Just reach in them jeans and pull out them greens!
    • Holy Cow Palace, Batman, did he!! freeze over? BerwickGuy, DaHooey and me all made snarky comments about the exact same development.
    • I can not take you seriously if you mispell a word such as FULL. But, unfortunately you are perhaps right about the patrons. They spend their easy earned checks so others can pay their bills. Everyone is happy. I will not spend a dime at any casino, here or Vegas.
    • I tend to think that if people dedicated the time, energy and money spent gambling to industrious pursuits (education, invention, discovery, labor) this country would be much better off (economically and spiritually). The key is not to quit having fun, but to have such a mind that finds happiness is more worthwhile pursuits.

      An indelible impression was left on me on my last visit to a casino (as a tourist, not a gambler): two Muslim women in abayas sat blank-faced and bored at the dollar slots. At each woman's side was a bucket of money, from which she took coins to feed the machine and then hit the button. Over and over the women played. For what? I mean, what if they won, what would they get? A bucket of money!

      Though I discourage gambling, I'm not against private parties setting up shop and running casinos, card houses or the like. The state, however, should not be involved in an activity that ultimately is detrimental to public welfare.
    • were they not supposed to take down those fake obama ads and billboards and tv spots etc etcd etc.../

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