Houlihan's gets hip

December 4, 2007
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Houlihan’sKansas-based restaurant chain Houlihan's has inked deals for new diners at Castleton Square Mall and Hamilton Town Center and hopes to open two other restaurants in Plainfield and Greenwood. The chain also has a location downtown, although the new restaurants will look much different (new prototype is shown here). Houlihan's is the second chain to start downtown before expanding in the suburbs; Johnny Rockets has similar plans. In other food news, Minneapolis-based Granite City Food & Brewery is expected to open its first central Indiana restaurant at the northwest corner of 96th and Meridian streets.
  • Oh, yay. More chains.

    Some friends from out of town staying downtown for the FFA convention were most impressed by...

    Yat's at 54th and College.

    (They were tired of downtown chains.)
  • Indy is the most chain addicted city in the world.
  • Wilmuth I agree with you. Indy has no basis on anything in terms of culture or even thinking outside of the box. It's disgusting.
  • stop crying over another chain oming to Indy. Thats where most locals dine anyway. I have been to their new prototype in K.C. and its actually very nice and very reasonable pricewise.
  • I'm not someone who has sworn off all chains, but I don't visit any regularly. My regular restaurants are all local. Still, sometimes I'm just in the mood for a burger at a chain place (very excited for the new Red Robin opening at 106th and Michigan for that reason). Still, it would be nice to see less chains downtown. It is the one area of town where I would definitely like to see more of a local influence on the food scene.

    BTW, one unrelated bit of news. It looks like the LoBill brand has been officially retired by Marsh. The LoBill at 71st and Michigan is now a Marsh Hometown Market
  • O despisers of chain restaurants, where doest thou dine?

    Please gather your dollars, and grant them as seed money for a wishful restauranteur.

    Ingredients for a successful diner/restaurant:
    - Desire, talent, unique theme
    - Business plan
    - Start-up $$
    - Excellent chef/cooks/staff
    - Successful marketing/word-of-mouth
  • If people didn't like chains, they wouldn't be so successful. I live in a sub-suburb and I'm thrilled that we're finally getting the chains that some city people snub their noses at. I work downtown and wish there were some cheap fast food chains here for lunch. The food court at the mall does not count. I can't afford the non-chain offerings every day.
  • Dustin,

    As down as you ALWAYS are on Indy, why do you even bother to post here??? It's almost like you have some sick anti-Indy agenda. To your post, the culture thing is way off, and a 'grass is greener' type of mentality. There is plenty of culture here and a lot of tradition in this city (holiday season, month of may, basketball, etc.). Maybe it doesn't suit you, but that's fine by me. Those who enjoy the culture and SEE it, are those who embrace it. Clearly you do not.

    I just hosted a group of friends from So. Cal (LA) and spent an evening downtown and an evening in BR. Both nights they had nothing but great things to say about Indy and one even noted, I wish we had this kind of old city charm in Southern California.

    Now I know none of us living here would consider Indy to have 'old city' charm, especially with cities like Cincy, Cleveland, and Chicago nearby, but it's all in the eye of the beholder. There's a lot more that Indy can offer than a lot of our competition, so get off the 'Indy s*cks' trip. It's SOOOO old.
  • I'm a little disappointed to hear that Granite City is going in at the northwest corner of 96th and Meridian. I thought Duke had been holding those sites for an upsacle white tablecloth restaurant. Granite City is yet another brewery chain similar to Champs or Rock Bottom. This site deserves something different. Any thoughts?
  • A lot of it is really just the Well where I live stinks. mentality. Some people are always bored with what they have and you can never make those people happy. The fact is that many people that come here are overly impressed at what the city has to offer. They think Indy is a dinky little town and when they see skyscrapers, monuments, museums, state of the art sporting facilities, many people are really surprised. So many people come away with a positive impression and then tell their friends Indy is a really nice city, I was surprised.
  • the northwest corner of 96th and Meridian streets

    This is the location Weber Grill originally wanted to use, right? Hope Carmel enjoys Granite City...
  • Dustin seems to have a lot of time to waste posting negative remarks about a city he seems to disdain. Houlihan's is a great restaurant. Kudos to them for refreshing ideas. Investment in the city is good, even when it comes from chain restaurants. It gives us employment opportunities and additional dining options.

    Dustin, if you don't like it or our city, take a shut up pill and go post elsewhere. I agree with Jobu, it's getting very old and time to stop. Your meanderings into mindlessness are enough to make a person gag.
  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but I recall from another post that Dustin lives out-of-state, out west, and only returns to Indiana to visit family and friends.
  • Houlihan’s is the second chain to start downtown before expanding in the suburbs;

    actually, there was a Houlihans at Glendale for years before the downtown location opened.
  • There was a Houlihan's at the Fashion Mall, too. The Williams Sonoma Home store is now in that location.

    Chains go where the money goes, and the fact of the matter is that they are a cheap alternative to cooking. The problem with most home grown restaurants is that they are too expensive for the average person. Yes, I understand Yats is an example, but when you look at the local restaurants you have place like St. Elmo's, Elements, R Bistro, etc. These are not restaurants you frequent when you just don't feel like cooking.

    I also think one of the big problems is the lack of a culinary school here in town. There really were not that many home grown chefs. However, now with IvyTech, Indianapolis Business College, and the Arts Institute of Indianapolis, I think we'll get more local growth over time.

    As for Dustin: Don't you think that maybe if you guys stopped fighting back he might lose interest? Every time you rail against him, you just validate his existence.
  • I tend to remember that Houlihan's was one of the first fern bars of the '70's. Does that sound right? We all need a great hamburger at times. I like my from Workingman's Bar on north Belmont.
  • As much as some of you find the biggest inclination out of crucifying me on a personal level, I find it entertaining. In fact, when I post anything, I always expect a retaliation. That's okay! I don't really have to explain myself to any of you because even if I did, you will find something else to vilify me for. Have a GREAT DAY!
  • Hmm, you made me think, Indiana Jones.

    My dollars go to Yat's, Bazbeaux, MCL, Jockamo's, Aristocrat, Illinois St. Food Emporium, Urban Element, Side Street Deli, City Market stands, and a Japanese place. All locally-owned. When I do fast food, it's generally at locally-owned Subway and Mickey D's franchises.

    Is it okay if I whine about chains some more?
  • Hey thundermutt, I'm sure some people on here including berwitchguy will say something to you :)
  • By the way JoBu, why does it even matter to you if I post on here? What effect does it have on your well being? Are you emotionally downtrodden by my presence in here? As you have not realized, this is a public blog. I can be just as much idiotic as you were by telling you the same thing; Why do YOU even bother posting on here when your only intention is to berate someone else? Have a nice day :)
  • I have a lot of free time on my hands, I'm rereading your post JoBu. As I read further down, I couldn't help but stifle a little chuckle. Admittedly, it burst out into some kind of a dorky snort.

    Ok, you brought your little friends from Los Angeles and you obviously were keen on the idea of sharing their viewpoints on here... hmm... for other Indy folks to see? I wonder what you are trying to do here... are you advertising Indianapolis free of charge? You should call Tamara Zahn and tell her to pay you for it. It's just not right. Otherwise you'd be just a little bug we all step on in the summer time whether we realize it or not. In case you don't get my meaning, it's actually a metaphor. Please don't get very upset and seriously offended, because I wouldn't want you to refrain from your usual belittling skills. You need it.
  • Also berwitchguy, I'd love to know the name of your proctologist because he deserves a tip.
  • Thundermutt, were you not nice enough to tell your visiting friends that there is a Yats downtown on Mass Ave?

    There are many downtown and near downtown independent restaurants.

    I would be interested to see if there is a study showing the percentage of chains vs. non-chains in major cities. I doubt we are much higher percentage than our midwest neighbors. Cincy, Chicago, Columbus etc... All seem to have their fair share of chains.

    It is also interesting that many people lump all chains in one hopper. Not distinguishing among McDonalds vs. Cheesecake Factory vs. Scholars Inn. All chains, just different levels and types. I would consider Applebees a chain, but not in the same hopper as say the Melting Pot.
  • I loved eating at Yat's. When I used to work on Mass Ave, it was very pleasant to walk casually down the street to Yat's for a nice lunch. that's one of the pleasures I had from living in downtown. That's all I'm going to say for now, before someone else denigrates me! Have a great day!
  • Chains aren't bad per se, but when thats pretty much all you have...
  • Chain, chain, chain...chain, chain, chain
    Chain, chain, chain...chain of fools

    Indy's new theme song...
  • I like Aretha
  • Yes, we have a lot of chains. So does everyone else.
    But this conversation often gets absurd--as if there's absolutely no locally owned place to eat a decent meal.
    Fact is, If you chose to eat at a different downtown restaurant every work day for a month, you could do it. In fact, you could do a different GOOD downtown restaurant every day for a month. And you wouldn't even have to stretch to Mass Ave.
    I'm not saying you could afford it, but you could do it. (Forgive my spellings, this is top of head)

    Week 1
    India Garden
    Slippery Noodle

    Week 2
    Greek Islands

    Week 3
    Harry & Izzy's
    14 West
    King David's Dogs
    Acapulco Joe's
    Ayres Tea Room at the State Museum

    Week 4
    Take your pick at City Market
    Red Eye Cafe
    Andrus O'Reilly's

    An anyone who works downtown can probably add five or ten more to the list.

    So let's be realistic.
  • Acapulco Joe’s? I wouldn't wish a meal from them upon my worst enemy.
  • Acapulco Joes is run by white people with no deep root knowledge about mexican fare. It's ridiculous. I ate there once and that was my last visit. Their salsa was runny with nothing in it. Just red water. The tacos? Gross... If I was of Mexican origination, I'd be insulted.
  • I completely forgot the Fountain Square places in my list...Shelbi St. Cafe chief among them.

    My experience with some other cities is that the chains tend to cluster in the boulevard and Interstate developments in the upscale suburbs...places that look like 86th, 96th, US31, and the like. You wake up in one of the chain hotels and look out the window...and you can't tell if you're in suburban Chicago or suburban Philadelphia or suburban Atlanta.

    Locally-based mini-chains like Union Jack's, Scholar's Inn and Yat's and Patachou are different critters than big national chains. They grow because they provide an experience geared to one local or regional market and because of word-of-mouth.

    And rush, I drove my friends from their downtown hotel up to north College so they could see how real people (who can't afford $500K condos and rehabs) live in Indianapolis.
  • Should of driven them to an area like Fountain Square which is just minutes from downtown, has wonderful, affordable housing and have great non chain restaurants.
  • Sometimes when I'm reading these posts I start to think I'm on IndyStar Talk Back instead of a business newspaper with intelligent conversation. If Dustin's negative posts bother people, just ignore him. He obviously only does it for attention... and he's obviously still attracted to the wellbeing of the Indy area, as we all are (or I should hope)--or he wouldn't be reading and posting every day.

    When I travel to other cities (usually for business), I generally eat at chains if I don't know anyone in the area to recommend a good local eat. At least it guarantees that you know what you're going to get. I'd hate to spend money at a local restaurant and not enjoy the meal... and nothing's wrong with a good chain restaurant (there are many bad ones, but there are many bad local restaurants as well)
  • Fine. Replace Acapulco Joe's with the soup place at the Eiteljorg Museum
  • Lou,
    not trying to split hairs but Barcelona is a small chain based in St. Louis. Indy is its third location.
  • Chain restaurants are a hot topic in indy. From the sentiments expressed here, one would think everyone was discussing race.

    But, on a serious note, can we please stop with these pointless personal attacks on people on this blog. This blog has been a great opportunity to sensibly discuss what is going on with development in this city. I understand not everyone shares the same views on Indianapolis and that's fine. But you can't simply post Indy sucks without suggesting any constructive criticism or giving valid reasons for your thoughts. There are multiple I-hate-Indy-blogs where anyone can be as subjective and irrational as they want to be.
  • thank you indyfan. You shot the bullet right
  • I love me some Barcelona Tapas! Their Sangria is terrible though.
  • I am so sick and tired about hearing about chains opening up everywhere in this city (nothing against you Cory). People say other cities have chains too, but its a fact that percentagewise, Indy has much more than most cities.
  • I am so sick and tired about hearing about chains opening up everywhere in this city (nothing against you Cory). People say other cities have chains too, but its a fact that percentagewise, Indy has much more than most cities. Ugh!
  • MobyHead, you couldn't have said it any better. Hey berwitchguy, I'm sure you'll have something to say after this :) I just can't WAIT, because you make my oatmeal rot.
  • Houlihans ?

    Is this the same as the location in glendale shopping center ? . This is a step above a fast food chain but most people would support quality rather than speed. Remember when we had The Castle, Caves Caverns, Sam's Subway(best baked potato) :La Scala, .
  • Dustin, do us all a favor and go post someplace else and to quote you Have a great day!
  • Culinary School in Atlanta
    When planning to join a culinary school, a student should consider the costs of enrolling with one. Before deciding on a suitable school, he or she should conduct a thorough research over the internet in order to compare the cost of culinary school as well as the fee structures.

    Culinary School in Atlanta
  • Houlihan's Burger
    Best Burgers Houlihan's Two thumbs way up !!! Yummmmmmmmmmmmy!!!

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