82nd Street eatery to pair doughnuts, beer

Doughnuts & Dragons, an artisanal doughnut shop and taproom, will open later this year at 3838 E. 82nd St. in the Clearwater Crossing shopping center on the city’s north side.

It’s the brainchild of Blake Dollive, who owns the business along with a minority partner, Mitchell Kunkle.The “doughnuts” part of the Doughnuts & Dragons equation will include both traditional sweet donuts and savory flavors to pair with beer. "Dragons” refers to the 100-plus board games that Dollive will make available for patrons to play while they’re eating and drinking.

Dollive is working with a consultant to develop the doughnut menu. On the beer side, he expects to have between 30 and 40 beers on tap, with an emphasis on local and regional brews.

Dollive wants to open before this year’s Gen Con event Aug. 1-4, an annual game convention that attracts tens of thousands of attendees to Indianapolis. 

The combination of beer and doughnuts might seem unlikely, but it makes sense to Dollive.

The Purdue University finance graduate had intended to open a straight doughnut shop. “I’ve always enjoyed baking. My mom taught me to bake my own pies from scratch as a kid,” he said. But in thinking of a way to differentiate the business, he realized that if he also served beer, he could capture both morning and evening customers. The shop will have equipment capable of producing small batches of doughnuts throughout the day, so that fresh product will be available into the evening.

The storefront property, which includes 4,117 square feet of customer space, has been vacant since BD’s Mongolian Barbecue vacated it in early 2016. Doughnuts & Dragons will offer seating for about 130 patrons, including two private 20-person rooms that will be available for rental.

In other news this week:

— Louisville-based LouVino will open March 5 in the mixed-use Penrose on Mass development at 530 Massachusetts Ave. The restaurant, owned by Chad and Lauren Coulter, offers Southern-inspired small plates and more than 60 wines served by the glass. It will be the second central Indiana location for LouVino, which opened in Fishers in 2016. IBJ first reported on the Mass Ave location in September.

— Central Indiana’s first Taco John’s is opening soon at 2004 N. Lebanon St. The Boone County restaurant is expected to open in March or April, followed by additional Indianapolis-area locations within the next few years, a company spokeswoman said. The Cheyenne, Wyoming-based fast-food chain has locations in 23 states. It currently has only two Indiana locations, both in Evansville. IBJ first reported on plans for the Lebanon restaurant n in 2017.

— Downtown restaurant Osteria Pronto, located on the ground floor of the JW Marriott, relaunched on Sunday with a new name—OP Italian—as well as a new dining concept and menu. The new menu is built around pasta, seafood, slow-cooked meats and Neapolitan-style pizza cooked in a new specialty oven. Osteria Pronto opened in 2011. Merrillville-based White Lodging, which runs the JW Marriott, developed both the Osteria Pronto and OP Italian concepts.

— Pizza restaurant King Dough opened Jan. 29 at 452 N. Highland Ave. in the city’s Holy Cross neighborhood. It fills a long-vacant space that formerly served as a gas station and auto shop. This is the second location for owners Adam and Alicia Sweet, who brought in Reed Owens as a partner in the Indianapolis operation. The Sweets opened their original King Dough in Bloomington in 2015. IBJ first reported on King Dough in November.

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