Restaurant, brewery planned for former Monon Fitness

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Monon FitnessTwo local entrepreneurs are planning a restaurant, brewery, entertainment venue and aquaponic farming operation for a 1.4 acre parcel along the Monon Trail south of Broad Ripple. Proprietors Derek Means and Craig Baker hope to open Bent Rail Brewery & Coffee House in the vacant former home of Monon Fitness at 5301 Winthrop Ave. The plans call for an outdoor beer garden along the Monon Trail with standing-room capacity for 700 people. A salvaged railroad car fashioned as a stage would be used to host concerts no more than 15 times per year, along with lawn-chair family movie nights. A bicycle garage at the southwest corner of the property would accommodate up to 100 bikes and operate like a coat check, the plans show. The restaurant would follow a "Tuscan/French Peasant" theme. All of its fish, lettuce and herbs would be grown by the on-site aquaponic gardening operation. The brewery would produce an estimated 1,500 barrels annually. The plans call for demolition of two structures on the northwest corner of the site and the south central portion to make way for surface parking. The city's planning staff has recommended approval of the project with the exception of the outdoor entertainment component, citing concerns about noise affecting the residential neighborhood immediately to the west. A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 15) at the City-County Building, though a delay is likely. Check out a site plan here. (It's a small file and difficult to read, but it gives an idea of the layout.)

Means and Baker, who also own The Local Eatery & Pub in Westfield, recently spoke with Mason King of Inside Dish. Watch

(Photo credit: Jim Grey)

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