DINING: A year of changes on the Indy culinary scene

December 29, 2008
Some things never change on the local dining scene. We'll ignore those for now. Instead, here are some key events that affected eating habits of both locals and visitors to Indianapolis in 2008.

Opening of Fogo de Chao. Carnivorous folks with expense accounts and/or leisurely lunch times took pleasure in the gaucho-served, sliced-at-your-table steaks served at this Brazilian steak house chain at the suddenly busy Washington and Pennsylvania intersection.

Relocation of Adobo Grill. That same intersection became the new home of the semi-hidden Adobo Grill, which made the move from the north side. Adobo Grill's former location became home to Pikk's Tavern—sister to the Valparaiso original—known for its extensive beer menu.

Downtown BW3 controversy. Who'd have thought that a restaurant's exterior would generate more buzz than what it served inside? A lengthy drama evolved downtown when yellow paint and a fake facade adorned the new BW3 location in the first block of East Washington Street. Problem: It didn't get the revamp approved by the city. Eventually, the spot opened with more muted tones. In other BW3 news, the chain's former location on Maryland Street briefly became a BadaBoomz (home of the burger-on-a-doughnut), then a J. Gumbo's, before shutting down at the end of the year.

Airport filled with local eateries. The new midfield terminal at Indianapolis International Airport now offers flyers a strong sampling of fare from local eateries, including Shapiro's, Harry & Izzy's, Cafe Patachou and Naked Tchopstix. Who says we're a generic city?

The tightening of the Starbucks belt. Java junkies found that the expansion of Starbucks into, it seemed, every third block of the city had its limits. The location at College and Fall Creek was among the victims of a nationwide purge of underperforming stores.

Small plates not just for tapas. Zing, which opened in late summer on Indiana Avenue, created a needed destination spot in a food-starved corner of downtown. And it did it with appetizing appetizer-sized dishes.

The Mo's the Merrier. The owner of Mo's A Place for Steaks downtown opened a new concept, Mo's Irish Pub, in Noblesville. Neither is to be confused with the burrito joint or Moe & Johnny's.

Getting the Bugg's out. Tavern at the Temple, the upstairs eatery at the canal-capping Bugg's Temple, didn't work out. But there's hope. A new eatery, Euphoria, took its place.

Thai-ing downtown to Fountain Square. The former home of Bistro 936 became Siam Square, now the go-to downtown Thai restaurant even though it isn't exactly downtown.

Sexing up Scholar's Inn. The Massachusetts Avenue extension of the popular Bloomington Scholar's Inn went undercover for awhile and emerged as SI. That stands for Sexy & Intimate, a far cry from the joint's bakehouse roots.

Au Revoir to Chanteclair. The longstanding eatery that classed up the airport Holiday Inn shuttered in March. Other closings in town included Crawford's Bakery, Russia House (replaced with Pearl Bistro), Circle Centre's Bertolini's and El Morocco. D'vine a Wine Bar closed near 82nd Street and Allisonville Road, but the owners promised to return soon to space near Buca di Beppo in Castleton. Stay tuned. 
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