INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Coat Check Coffee’s co-owner and coffee director, Neal Warner, said he couldn’t pass up the chance to bring something special to Mass Ave, especially after learning about an available space in the well-known Athenaeum, which was built back in the 1890s.
Located at 401 E. Michigan Street, the Athenaeum is full of history. So much so that it recently received National Historic Landmark status.
Since opening just this past February, Coat Check Coffee has already received a whopping 5-star rating on Yelp. In reviews, Yelpers rave about everything from their favorite signature drink, to the historical setting and ambiance, and the availability of parking in a nearby lot.
Before this space became a coffee hot spot however, Warner says it served a multitude of purposes over the past century.
“Originally, this was a money office for the Turnverein way back in the day. That’s why you see some of the woodwork and metal grating in here. And then about mid-century it turned into the coat check for the theater and that’s why you see the lettering at the top of the window there,” Warner says.
But when Warner arrived, the space was being used as a maintenance closet. Yet amidst all the clutter and junk, he saw opportunity. And after transforming that cluttered closet into what is now Coat Check Coffee, locals couldn’t be happier.
Photo gallery courtesy Yelp
Yelpers love the signature drinks here, but what is even more interesting is their approach: their signature drinks are made using the same techniques you might expect from your favorite evening cocktail. And if you scroll the glowing Yelp reviews, it won’t take long to realize that the crowd favorite is the Butterscotch Latte. According to Yelp Indy’s Brittany Smith, the only thing better than tasting it is watching them make it.
“People just love the effort that goes into this drink. It’s actually like a cocktail breakfast beverage. They are actually scorching the oranges that are going on top of it, making their own butterscotch sauce as well as bringing in milk from a creamery in Iowa. So every little step in that drink they are thinking about all the processes,” says Smith.
They take that same thoughtful approach with their pastries, which are baked fresh each day at 5 a.m. Their selection includes fluffy quiches, cinnamon sugar croissants and sweet pies. But one of Yelper’s stand-out favorites is a spin on an old childhood favorite.
“One of the things that stands out by and far in all of the reviews are the made in-house croissants as well as the pig in a blanket, which you’re not going to find a lot of other croissant places in town,” says Smith.
Four Things to Know
- Coat Check Coffee is located in the historic Athenaeum on Mass Ave.
- Driven by a passion for both coffee and the Indianapolis community, Coat Check Coffee is locally-owned by Neal Warner and husband and wife Paul and Audreyalice Warner.
- They are family-friendly with plenty of seating and space for the kids.
- They offer a catering service, complete with onsite set-up, machines, etc.
Customers appreciate how much seating is available in the space. Alongside the coming addition of the pocket park nearby, they look to add in plenty of outdoor seating just in time for beautiful weather. And if you’re looking for a co-working space, they have you covered.
“They’re actually building out a standing desk bar that will have lots of outlets so it’s a good place where maybe you work from home and you want to get out and try to mix up your spaces. This can be the spot for you,” Smith says.
While you’re in the Mass Ave neighborhood, check out these nearby Yelp favorites: