Roundup: Thirsty Scholar opening at 16th and Penn

July 18, 2013
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•The Thirsty Scholar, a coffee, beer and wine bar, is expected to open sometime next week at the corner of 16th and Pennsylvania streets in the Penn Arts building owned by developer Christopher Piazza. The Scholar is Piazza’s first food and beverage concept, and will be operated with business partner Kevin Schmidlin.

The 900-square-foot space will feature a historically designed bar, marble top, a classical checkered floor and restored light fixtures.

“It has a quirky edge to it,” Piazza said. “It’s not like it’s high-brow, it’s eclectic.”

yats on mass 225px•Liberty Street Pub is set to open in the fall in the building (right) at 659 Massachusetts Ave. formerly occupied by Yats. It is moving up the street to the Trail Side building and should open yet this summer. Liberty Street is the creation of Shawn Miller, who owns the building on Mass Ave and also operates Dorman Street Saloon at 901 Dorman Street on the near-east side.

The Liberty Street moniker pays homage to the original name of Park Avenue, which intersects Mass Ave where the bar will be located on the southwest corner.  

•Piada Italian Street Food, a fast-casual Italian eatery featuring hand-rolled piadas, pasta bowls and chopped salads, received zoning approval Tuesday to build a restaurant at The Shops at River Crossing. Construction on the restaurant, which will be located in the southwest corner of Barnes & Noble’s parking lot, should start later this year.

The Columbus, Ohio-based chain was founded in 2010 by Chris Doody, also a founder of the Bravo! Cucina Italiana chain. Piada has 10 locations in Ohio.

Pizzology Pizzeria & Pub is close to signing a lease to open a restaurant on Mass Ave and could be taking the space occupied by Aesop's Tables at 600 Mass Ave., according to the Star's Jolene Ketzenberger. Local restaurateur and chef Neal Brown launched the pizza concept in Carmel in 2009 and had intended to open his second location at Nora Plaza but could not finalize a lease.

•Granite City Food & Brewery is set to open July 24 in the former Bella Vita space within Circle Centre Mall. The brewpub will have frontage on South Illinois Street between Ruth's Chris and P.F. Chang's.  

This will be the St. Cloud, Minn.-based chain’s second in the area, joining a restaurant at Meridian and 96th streets.

•Firehouse Subs is slated to open a shop within 2,500 square feet at 47 S. Illinois St., formerly occupied by Einstein Bros Bagels, before it moved to the southwest corner of Market and Pennsylvania streets in December. The downtown Firehouse sub shop will be operated by franchisee Michael Harmon, who owns locations in Broad Ripple and Noblesville.

•Side Street’s American Grill opened July 12 at 5130 W. 38th St. within the International Marketplace. Owners Dennis Wheaton Jr. and Cheryl Wheaton previously operated Side Street Deli at 2066 N. Illinois St. and Side Street Grille at 135 N. Pennsylvania St.

•Marco’s Pizza has reopened within 2,150 square feet of space, at the new Broad Ripple Garage & Shoppes at College Avenue and Westfield Boulevard in Broad Ripple. Marco’s was located at the intersection before the parking garage was built.

•Forever, Heather has opened within Concourse B of the Indianapolis International Airport. The independently owned retailer, founded in Fairfax, Va., designs and sells its own line of women’s clothing, jewelry and accessories.


  • Aesops?!
    Aesops Tables is leaving?
  • Good Riddance
    What great news that Aesops Tables is closing. What a sub-par eatery. Exciting for another Neal Brown hotspot in downtown!
    • Praise the Lord!
      The heavens have opened up and angel choirs are descending onto Mass Ave holding slices from Pizzology. Now I won't have to make the pilgrimage north anymore to eat this most blessed food! ;)
    • Great news for a great area!
      Glad to hear about the exciting developments on northern Mass Ave! I think the intersection of Mass and Park Ave is the epicenter of the up-and-coming hip, upscale Indy. I hope this new bar is a hit (and offers something more exciting than the same old Indiana brews that every other bar in town is focusing on)
    • Liberty/Yats
      So basically this guy just kicked Yats out after their lease was up so he could build a bar? Right after they expanded I believe? That's too bad. I probably won't be visiting Liberty because of this.
    • Well...
      .... Downtowner. I don't think you can really say he "kicked" them out. They had a lease and it was honored. It would be more accurate to say he chose not to renew their lease which, as the owner, he had the right to do. I think Yat's will be just fine in their new space. Speaking of Park Ave., what ever came of the new Brugge place that was talked about last year? Is it already there and I'm just clueless?
    • Graeter's holdup?
      What's the holdup with Graeter's going into the space next to Illinois St Food Emporium. As recently as last month, I'd heard that a formal annoucement was forthcoming 'any day now'. Any movement?
      • Brugge
        The owners of Brugge opened a brewery at the northwest corner of Park and North with the intent to open a restaurant in the building next door. My understanding is that they have run into parking issues/zoning, and may be focusing on just the brewery right now. Would also love to hear more information. The owner of the building at Park and Mass Ave. also owns the Dorman Street Saloon just esat of 65/70. I wouldn't frequent one of his establishments, but that's just my opinion.
      • Liberty
        I agree with Downtowner! I won't be visiting Liberty bar because I felt they should of let Yats stay. In addition, owner's wife is rude to customers at their other bar Dorman Street.
      • Re: Yats
        I too will never go to Liberty Street Pub due to the way they treated Yats. Yats has been a wonderful business for the city of Indianapolis and I hate to see them treated like crap.
      • Granite City
        Won't downtown be the third Granite City in the area? There is the 96th Street location and one inside the airport.
      • Agreed
        I could not agree more. For 5 years we have lived by this restaurant waiting for something better to take it's place. The news that another restaurant is moving in is very welcomed.
      • Another pie joint?
        What downtown does not need is another pizza place. Plus, I was so turned off by Libertine's customer service that visiting another one of his restaurants does not sound appealing. Thirsty Scholar sounds great. Drive by it every day, can't wait to visit. Hope they have morning hours for caffeine commuters. Liberty Pub...while I have never been to Dorman St, I think not renewing someone's lease is a little disheartening, but no reason not to visit the establishment. I am personally happy Yats is moving. It's bringing a high-profile eatery to the North end of Mass which is only growing. Plus outdoor seating, brunch and beer/wine! Oh and the Owner's Wife (Bruggee restaurant on Park) is suppose to open soon, I believe.
      • Aesop's Tables
        Aesop's Tables was ok I guess, but they were generally rude to the LGBTQ community. Being right smack in the middle of Mass Ave and the large number of the LGBTQ community around MASS and Chatham Arch, you would have thought they'd try harder. MASS Ave's renaissance was pioneered by the the City's LGBTQ community. People tend to forget that.
        • LGBTQ?
          What the heck is the Q for? I remember when I would just say I was gay. Then it became GL. Then it was LGBT (I still don't really understand what the T means). What the heck is LGBTQ?
          • The T in LGBT
          • Re: Yats
            It sounds like a lot of people expected the owner to give Yat's charity. I love Yats and will continue to eat there quite often at their new location, but I don't get why people think Yat's deserved to get discounted rent from the owners of the building. Mass Ave is a much different place than it was when Yat's moved in. Yes, they have been a tradition and favorite of most residents in the area, but you can't expect the owners of the building to give them a pass on paying market value. Yat's was given the opportunity to extend their lease at a higher rate; they chose to move down the street instead. I know the owners of Yat's have been doing a lot of talking about Liberty Street online and to anyone who walked into their restaurant. I understand that they are upset that they had their rent increased, but that is no excuse for the childish actions they have taken. I'll give Liberty Street a try as I would with any local establishment that pops up in my neighborhood. I'm not going to boycott it because the owners of Yat's have been badmouthing them all over Twitter and Facebook.
          • RE: GaryBo
            Aesop's was part of the Mass Ave revival. I don't know what your experience has been there, but the owner has been a long-standing tireless advocate and champion for the LGBT community.
          • Change is good
            As a 10 yr, Mass Ave resident, I am delighted to hear that Aesop's is closing. Although I liked the food generally, it was renowned for spotty and sometimes horrible service. The last time I went about 18 months ago, we got up and left after 10 minutes of nobody checking in on us, despite it not being crowded - and vowed to never return. The restaurant died a slow death that was inevitable based on its rep. Glad to hear the "bar" is being raised on Mass Ave. We need places like Pizzology. As for Yats, they moved up the Avenue, no harm no foul. Let the success continue!
          • @G - Graeters
            I spoke with the owner of the Food Emporium next door, and she said it pretty much came down to two things: zoning & parking. The zoning thing should be an easy fix, just timely as any govt process is. The parking portion irks me. She said they needed something like 25 parking spots for the restaurant. Even if you tore down the building and paved over the whole lot, there wouldn't be room for 25 spaces. The Food Emporium sees hundreds of people each day and parking is never an issue. Not sure why the city came up with such an absurd number.
          • Yat's Love
            Why so much love for Yat's "scoop and serve" slop. Little more than a box of Zatarain's! Maybe you just enjoy plastic utensils and a foam plate.

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