Scotty's opens; Tango is next

January 5, 2009
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Scotty’s BrewhouseNow that Scotty's Brewhouse has officially opened, what do you think so far of the revamped Jefferson Plaza? The original renderings are here. The new restaurant and bar sprawls over 10,000 square feet in the first floor of what is now known as Allen Plaza at Pennsylvania Street and Virginia Avenue. An outdoor seating area and fire pit still are under construction, as is work on the rest of the building. You can check out more photos of the new Scotty's at Hoosier Beer Geek. In other neighborhood restaurant news, the manager of Taste of Tango anticipates a soft opening by Friday.
  • Great news for downtown. We've got a lousy economy, but are seeing an emerging cluster of restaurants around Washington/Penn. Assuming they survive the downturn, this is all goodness for downtown.
  • GREAT! I have been holding off getting a mug at the northside location, hoping that I could get one downtown. It's a great locally grown bar. The northside location is a meat market, hope this one lives up to the history.
  • YAH! So excited. It is going to be hopping in the summer and after Conseco events. That whole corner is turning around quite nicely. Although, and I may get yelled at since a mall is 2 blocks away. I think this area lacks some general retail/office type business to help support some more foot traffic during the day other than those looking for food and drink. Would be cool to diversify it.
  • The inside is beautiful, and I've really enjoyed the food. Plasma TVs at every booth, on every wall, in every bathroom stall ... this will definitely be the place to go for football games.
  • Yes MikeW, it would be very nice to diversify and increase the density of the area. The nearby jail doesn't help things, but there are plenty of other lots in the are to develop. Perhaps Penn Centre will get off the ground one day. That would help quite a bit.
  • I would suggest a successful revamping/fill-in of long vacant and unsightly Washington Street property to the north. It remains the area most in need and most potentially beneficial in solidifying the area.
  • I agree with George Orwell (YIKES!)

    Attention should focus on Washington Street. It is an absolute mess, but also has extraordinary potential.
  • LOL @ Joe... YIKES!
  • I absolutely agree with MikeW. I used to think that this area of downtown would never see a bright day too soon. So yeah, I am surprised this location has been changed into a restaurant/bar type establishment. Very good. I also agree with GeorgeOrwell, yet I am still shocked by the fact that the northern side of Washington Street has not been touched at all. What a damn joke, because if downtown is creating new businesses in various areas... why isn't the northern side of Washington Square part of it? To me, that part of downtown, especially considering how so close it is to the mall and the circle... is HORRIBLE and ghetto looking. Sad... very sad...

    Does anyone know know what is going on with the Illinois Building? I used to have a lot of wishful thinking that the building would turn into something phenomenal in terms of downtown growth when I lived at the Block across the street. I'll bet, to this day, it's still vacant and dead. Imagine the possibilities... a food market for the nearby residents at the Block, condos ontop Conrad, condos next to the Block, as well as the many visitors staying in the hotels nearby. Why not another department store or a mixed used development? Apartments ontop, with retail/restaurants on bottom level. COME ON... I can see downtown doing much more... I know that baby steps are the way to go, but these areas I am talking about are the ones that have been ignored far too long.
  • if only there was a gumbo/craft beer bar between this and the mall to tie everything together that area could really be something special.

    thanks for the link.
  • Me too, Mike. Me too.
  • Dustin, the Illinois Building is still vacant. IIRC, I believe the problem is that there is a ground lease that expires soon. Nobody is going to buy the lease on the lot with an eye towards investment if they lose the rights to the building when the ground lease expires. Does anybody know the complete facts around that?

    As for the north side of Washington, I agree.
  • Thinking more about the Washington Street Block. Do you think the Wholesale Historical distric rules or covenants for growth and remodeling, are too stringent that they could hamper the development of an entirely new building?

    I guess Conrad went in and maybe one or two others, but maybe the preservation piece of the district has also preserved the vacantness, making it hard for anything new to be build to the historic standards.
  • Man, thats the best beer lineup I think I've seen in Indy! Can't wait to go.
  • Johnyy,you must not get out much. :-)
  • East Washington St. is horrible. It looks the same as it did 30 years ago. This street has so much potential from Delaware to Meridan Streets but has not materialized. Infill is needed in all the vacant lots that would definetly help it become more urban. Hopefully the Allen development will give this side of town the boost that it needs. The City County Building needs to be expanded to the south to Washington St. The courts need to be expanded and this would bring the building to the street. The lot across the street adjacent to the jail also needs to be developed. With the new ramp off I-70/I-65 this becomes a main entrance into the city and it is not pleasant drive.
  • I agree with EVERYONE concerning the look of Washington Street; especially now with the new interchange for 65/70. Being Indy's front door, one would think that there have been numerous discussions on how to improve that horrible stretch of road. Obvioulsy a big part of the problem is the MSA site, so I will give the City that, but the Bank One fortress (which should have NEVER been allowed to be built in a downtown in any City looking like it does) needs to come down. Also, development at the intersection with East Street with zero lot lines would really help the streetscape.

    Whatever is developed along this stretch, it is imperitive that there be no off-street parking or setbacks. We don't need the area developed suburbanly. Too many campuses downtown as it is.
  • Best beer lineup in Indy?!? Thats like saying the Pacers have the best starting lineup in the NBA.
  • The north side of Washington is an embarrasment especially compared to what some other areas so near by have accomplished. I find it as simple to walk east as I do west, just need a reason. Scotty's will help focus more attention on this area ( I hope! ). As to the rest of the new Allen complex, while it's a great improvement, couldn't we have gone for more than that? Look at what the Broadbent folks did with a building much less attractive and far more challanging to reinvent. And, where's the green space? Unforgivable!
  • Fair bar food at high prices. Not a recipe for success, IMO.
  • Downtown is shaping up nicely in this area, I still enjoy the 'trail' of downtown comics locations.. I believe there are two empty storefronts with one currently open store.
  • I think they serve up decent bar food with an emphisis on Indiana produced meats, which is cool..........I think it will do well.
  • What a great place for an IKEA?! :lol:
  • Scotty's is decent bar food but way too overpriced. However, I'm certainly glad that downtown is trying to add more local chains to the area. Living in Fishers and trying to find a local restaurant is nearly impossible (although a Chipotle would be grand)...I certainly hope Indy will begin to have more home-grown restaurants in the near future so we can keep the a good majority of the national crappy chains out. Props to establishments like Yats, Bazbeaux's, Greek Pizzeria, etc. for making our local food stand head over heels above the national chain garbage.
  • Get over yourselves... Blah, blah, blah, I love Yats and other local restaurants; and despise chains.

    Did you know that Yats now has 4 locations in Central Indiana, 1 in West Lafayette and 1 in Chicago? Starting to have the renderings of a chain, in my opinion. And that's good for them, they have great food. But are you still going to call them local? And when they grow more, will you still call them local? And if you say, well it's an Indiana business... would you love Olive Garden, Applebee's, Longhorn or any chain if they had started in Indianapolis?

    And when are you people going to realize that Indianapolis doesn't have a lot of local restaurants because a lot of the ones that are here (and the ones that have come and gone) don't have good food or good service. It's not because Indianapolis loves chains. It's because if a person is presented with an option that isn't at least comparable to a chain... well, they're going to spend their money at a chain. Don't get me wrong, there are a few local restaurants that are good here... but some of the local restaurants you people rant and rave about on here are just awful. Either awful service or awful food... but you expect them to stay alive just because they're local?... NO! People will spend their money where they think they are getting a good value, not where the waitresses treat them like dirt or the food tastes like the previous comparison.
  • Doug, we need more green space downtown like we need a hole in the head. If you take a look at an aerial shot of downtown Indy, you'll see that gigantic tracts of downtown land are totally vacant, probably over 50% of the land area. A lot of this is surface parking, but much of it is open lawn. For example, the suburban office park known as the Wellpoint operations campus southeast of downtown is surrounded by grass - but is also totally lifeless. Dittos for the Lilly campus. There are untold acres of downtown parkland in places like Military Park, White River State Park, the War Memorial Mall, etc. While some green space or pocket parks can be good in the urban context if done right, planting grass on a vacant lot doesn't make it any less vacant. What Indy needs more than anything is more intensity of quality, urban development downtown, not more vacant lots.
  • @ Good Gried - I agree completely. The few times I've been to Bazbeaux’s, the service was a joke (15 min wait to order after seating, 15 min wait to get a check after finishing, 10 min wait to get my card back - I don't expect to be waited on hand & foot, but I'd at least like the option to get in and out in less than an hour).

    My friend & his wife went once & they had several hairs in their pizza. After complaining, they had to pay full price for the pizza & were not offered anything more than a trite apology, all the while they watched as the cook made more pizzas while slinging her hair back & forth. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to try anywhere that gives that kind of service.
  • Urbanophile, I don't disagree with some of what you suggest and the comment I made was a call to provide an interesting balance between the hard space development and the asthetic complement that enhances both. No question, QUALITY OF LIFE is number 1 and I know everyone has their own perspective on what that means. The ARTS and it's complementary attractions provide a piece of that balance as do the joy of good food, shopping and interesting sports events, etc. etc. Vacant lots ARE an eyesore and you and I may have a hard time leaving them that way but it seems others care little, therein lies the issue for those of us wanting more from our city.
  • I live downtown because I want to live an urban lifestyle (let's not quibble on whether downtown can improve on that). If I wanted to live near more green space, I would move out by Eagle Creek or back across from the farm where I grew up.

    I'm not saying that trees and other greenery are not needed in an urban space, just as parks like White River, Military, University, and the American Legion Mall add to the fabric of downtown, but the fact still remains that I do not live downtown to commune with nature.

    Bring on the density...bring on the life of a downtown, which is really the best part of Scotty's, Fogo, and Adobo opening east of Penn. It is expanding what our notion of the downtown core is, and I am all for it...along with improving the URBAN front door on the rest of Washington.
  • think: you should call Jeff Berman @ Baz (owner/founder) and tell him of your experience. Jeff is a great guy and takes his pie seriously. might get a free beer outta the deal, you never know...
  • Two questions on downtown vacant lot develoment:

    Should the parking lot on the north side of the jail fronting Washington Street be developed for a new courts building, or reserved for future jail expansion (if needed)?

    Should part of the MSA site include open space that would accomodate moving the farmers market off market street so the street would not need to be closed?
  • Dougie,

    The Broadbent folks absolutely ruined the Zipper Building. I liked it better
    before they renovated it. After the renovation, it is one of the most
    unattractive and uninspired buildings around. It's like they tried too hard;
    tried to incorporate too much stuff. As far as it being harder to reinvent, are you
    not watching what they are having to do to the Jefferson Plaza building? It looks
    like a bomb went off on the corner, and it is 8-9 stories tall, not 3 like the
    Broadbent building. I would think something that massive is much more of a
    challenge. Further, I think we should at least wait until the folks
    at Allen are complete before we judge it!
  • I agree with Urbanophile on the vacant lot and would like to add on to the endless amounts of parking lots that should be converted to either multi-level above ground or underground parking garage with a building on top to create more jobs and density in the downtown area. Downtown needs more retail stores, that sell product and services, that connect neighborhoods. I love going to Scotty's and I think it will begin the social bridge to connect Mass Ave and Washington Street.
  • Completely different topic: What's happening with Keystone Towers?
    How does this remain an eyesore for so many years? That whole corridor
    along Binford between 56th and Keystone has been an eyesore as long as
    I've lived here ('99). It's such a visible part of our city. Why doesn't the
    city do something about it?
  • I agree with Matthew on the Keystone Towers. That whole area sits right next to a vital artery linking the corners of the city and yet no real plan has been put to action to clean and revitalize that area. It would be perfect for a nicer new apartment building and a real grocery store would help that area immensely.
  • Mr., I have not been called Dougie since I was in 3rd grade. Kind of brought me back to a simpler time. I agree with avoiding a rush to judgement and sorry if it came across that way (unintended). As other comments suggest everyone has their own individual taste in architecture and that's part of what makes life interesting. I certainly respect your charterization of the Broadbent project and will be interested to see how the Allen project evolves.
  • Keystone Towers needs only a ton of dynamite and a calm Saturday morning to fix its issues. :)
  • Are people living in Keystone Towers? I've seen lights on in there before and cars parked outside.
  • When people start taking advantage of the green space already available downtown, then there can be discussion about adding more greenspace. The downtown area needs more high-density or mid-density mixed-use buildings in order to create a great urban experience.
  • Keystone Towers could be the next IKEA. Think about it, good access to northside and downtown, i am sure the Ballard Bubbas would give it away, and Unka Mitchy wouls abate the taxes for the next 3000000 years....

    Plus it is cheap enuf it could take up the slack from the closed up Value City, and IMPD could use another substation around there, rent free, close to Brightwood, Sherman, 38th Street....

    spectacular idea, dontcha think???? :eek:

    /damn i am good//
  • Speaking of restaurants I finally got someone from Flat Top Grill to email me back about Indianapolis locations since they scrapped the Glendale location.


    Thanks for taking the time to write. We are currently looking for a new site in Indianapolis however no lease has been signed at this point. As more updates become available regarding new store openings, they will be available on our website for your convenience. We look forward to our next opportunity to serve you.

    All the best in 2009

    Jenn O'Hanlon
    Marketing Specialist

    Flat Top Grill
    726 W Lake Street
    Oak Park IL 60301
    P: (708) 383-2240 x229
    F: (708) 383-2093
  • I wonder why they decided to pull out of the Glendale location........I would have thought it would have done well in that area. Since the Target has opened, that area has really picked up.
  • Da Hooey and Urbanophile, I suspect Keystone Towers' last remake was probably some kind of tax-credit project featuring income-eligible housing. I don't have my project list readily at hand...
  • :lol: jenn must be in first year marketing, what a stupid letter. My 6 year old has more sunstance.

    That said, not sure what is up with Glendale it doesn't seem to make much sense, and I am SURE John Kite is desperado for some tennants there, absolutely nothing on the drawing board right now. Maybe Flat Top is just waiting for the money crunch to lighten up a bit. I was at Panera Glendale for lunch today and the place was packed. They got goooood onion soup.
  • Regarding East Washington St. downtown, I've been harping on that stretch for years. I even wrote Tamara Zahn several years ago and was told something's in the works. Well, nothing's transpired. I remember hearing or reading that part of the problem is that those buildings on the north side between Penn and Meridian are tied up with multiple owners. But, yeah, it's nice to see Scotty's going in but what's really needed is improvement on the north side. Here's hoping...both for that and the Illinois Building. Thanks, Cory, for your work.
  • Late to the conversation, but wanted to respond to MikeW's post number 13. The block of Washington Street he refers to is not part of the Wholesale district and is not designated by the IHPC. So preservation cannot be blamed for the lack of development there. If you take a look at the actual Wholesale District boundaries, you'll find that quite a bit of development takes place there. Preservation is not anti-development. The best way to ensure signficant historic structures are preserved is to find uses for them that meet needs of the present and future.
  • Anyone know what's going on with the restaurant in the Chamber of Commerce Bldg? They seemed to have closed up. I hope they get another restaurant. Anyone know of anything in the works?
  • I have eaten twice at Scotty's and nothing impressed me too much. I do think the patio will be awesome this Summer though, hopefully comparable to Champps on the North side.

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  1. I am so impressed that the smoking ban FAILED in Kokomo! I might just move to your Awesome city!

  2. way to much breweries being built in indianapolis. its going to be saturated market, if not already. when is enough, enough??

  3. This house is a reminder of Hamilton County history. Its position near the interstate is significant to remember what Hamilton County was before the SUPERBROKERs, Navients, commercial parks, sprawling vinyl villages, and acres of concrete retail showed up. What's truly Wasteful is not reusing a structure that could still be useful. History isn't confined to parks and books.

  4. To compare Connor Prairie or the Zoo to a random old house is a big ridiculous. If it were any where near the level of significance there wouldn't be a major funding gap. Put a big billboard on I-69 funded by the tourism board for people to come visit this old house, and I doubt there would be any takers, since other than age there is no significance whatsoever. Clearly the tax payers of Fishers don't have a significant interest in this project, so PLEASE DON'T USE OUR VALUABLE MONEY. Government money is finite and needs to be utilized for the most efficient and productive purposes. This is far from that.

  5. I only tried it 2x and didn't think much of it both times. With the new apts plus a couple other of new developments on Guilford, I am surprised it didn't get more business. Plus you have a couple of subdivisions across the street from it. I hope Upland can keep it going. Good beer and food plus a neat environment and outdoor seating.