INDIANAPOLIS– When Gus Vazquez and Chris Burton met 22 years ago in their hometown of Houston, Texas, both were in the service industry and had dreams of one day opening their own bar and restaurant.
Burton was the first to move here to Indianapolis but when their long-awaited opportunity came to fruition, Vazquez relocated to the Hoosier state. Together, they officially opened The Oakmont in the old Kruger’s Tavern location at 323 Delaware Street, just off Mass Ave.
We’re headed to one of the Circle City’s hottest new hangouts on this trip In Your Neighborhood.
“The basic concept is something new, something fresh, very unique,” explained Managing Partner Gus Vasquez. “We really went for something that hasn’t made it to Indianapolis quite yet.”
From the Instagrammable neon signs to unique wall art created by local Indy artists and the name painted on the wall right above the patio, it’s clear to see that The Oakmont was not designed to blend in.
“It’s a gathering place, right? So, you can come in, have a cocktail, have some apps, have a full dinner, you can do that,” he said. “Throughout the space we wanted some loungey areas so [that includes] the couches in the middle and we have the lounge out on the patio.”
The bar and restaurant’s standout style started with the food, which Vazquez says takes a bit of inspiration from Asian and Mexican flavors.
Some of the menu favorites include the buddha bowl: with kale, quinoa and tahini– with the option of adding salmon.
Then, there’s the signature appetizer: panko-breaded devilled eggs.
“We’re frying those and then we’re piping it in some truffle egg mix on top sliver of bacon and some dill. Then, we sprinkle [them] with paprika for color and flavor,” Vasquez noted.
Or turn up the heat with the El Diablo burger.
“It’s got poblano peppers, chipotle aioli, habanero on top… Some people eat it, some people are afraid of it,” he said. “And that’s going to be paired with our garlic truffle parmesan fries.”
Treat yourself to some confetti donut holes or one of their signature cocktails, like the popular Panic at the Pisco, Off-Hours Old Fashioned or The Smoking Gun.
“The Smoking Gun is going to be our take on a paloma,” said Vasquez. “So instead of tequila, we actually use Mezcal. And it’s going to have the grapefruit soda, going to have some peppers in there and some tajin on the rim so it’s spicy.”
Four Things You Need to Know About The Oakmont:
- The Oakmont (located at 323 Delaware Street Suite B) opened in spring of 2021 and—as a unique new concept for the Indianapolis area—it quickly became the Mass Ave neighborhood’s most popular new hotspot.
- Open from lunch to late night each day, the bar and restaurant serves an array of menu items from shareable small plates to burgers/handhelds, full dinner entrees, desserts and more.
- It has an eclectic style and lounge-type atmosphere featuring cozy couches and chairs and flat screen TVs near the bar. Managing Partner Gus Vazquez says they commissioned local Indy artists to create the unique artwork on the interior of the space. One of their most popular areas for Instagram-worthy photos is in front of one of their many witty neon signs, located near the entrance.
- During the week, The Oakmont is a popular spot for business lunches and meetings. But on Saturdays and Sundays they are a major hot spot for brunch, which features a live DJ and has more of that weekend party vibe.
For more information about The Oakmont, check out their website by clicking here. To see more photos and reviews by local Yelpers, check out the business’ Yelp page. You can also connect on social media via Facebook and Instagram.
While in the Mass Ave area, check out these other local favorites: