Fountain Square, the neighborhood situated just south of downtown Indy, began as one of the city’s first commercial districts during the late 19th century. Its name comes from the point where three roads converge at two 150-year-old-plus water features. Today, while it’s home to many independent shops, on the gastronomic front, the historic area provides residents and visitors a walkable opportunity to enjoy the flavors of Indy’s culinary and bar scene.
At Easy Rider Diner, chef Ian Stricklin features a menu of American comfort food with a southwest influence. While its roots lie in the greasy spoon, it’s a gourmand, spiced-up version offering well-balanced spicy and savory eats. Around the corner lies nationally noted Turchetti’s Salumeria, a full restaurant and butcher shop. Guests can enjoy the fare on the eatery side, then purchase fresh and cured meats, sampler boxes and gift baskets to take home. Or sit at the bar and watch a game of soccer while sipping from beverage director Amanda DeVary’s carefully curated wine and beer menu.
A couple of doors is the self-described “funky cantina” Revolucion, where legendary Toxic Reasons punk band member David “Tufty” Clough and wife Roni, now restaurateurs, crank out tropical libations and south-of-the-border noshes. Behind the hip Lucha Libre-themed taqueria, a “surf-inspired” back room and tiki bar transport the clientele to the South Pacific.
If that’s your jam, another Fountain Square must-visit for lovers of everything Polynesian is The Inferno Room. The tiki bar’s website notes that it houses one of the largest collections of Papua New Guinea artifacts outside a museum, but visitors come for classic cocktails like the time-honored Mai Tai, Singapore Sling and Planter’s Punch. The food menu offers Southeast Asian-inspired dishes like Filipino adobo, shrimp rangoon or even an Inferno burger with kabayaki.
While beachcomber attire might be the style of choice for the previous establishment, the glam squad heads to the neighboring Paradox Lounge. The nightclub offers dancing with an upscale bar menu of wings, burgers, flatbreads and rice bowls, and it also has a dress code. Per the website, entry is subject to the door’s discretion.
If dancing isn’t in the cards, a Fountain Square Theater Building venue might be. Constructed nearly a century ago, the tower once housed offices, shops and a theater for silent movies and vaudeville. Today, it’s home to duckpin bowling alleys, Italian restaurant Maialina, Imbibe Lobby Bar and Game Room and The Commodore, one of Indy’s newest speakeasies.
Atomic and Action Bowling offer retro vibes, Imbibe features plenty of spirits and craft beers, billiards, ping-pong, darts and pinball, while the Commodore’s moody atmosphere conjures a sexy, film noir feel – perfect for a nightcap before heading home.
For more info on Fountain Square, check out this Visit Indy site.