INDIANAPOLIS — Last week, we got a peek inside the new Bottleworks Hotel. So, it was only fitting to continue the tour this week as we explore what else the Bottleworks District has to offer.
The north end of Mass Ave has come alive since The Garage Food Hall opened at the start of the year. As part of the 3-year, $300 million Bottleworks Project, The Garage is breathing life back into a once dormant piece of Indy history.
We’re exploring the city’s new favorite one stop shop for food, shopping and more on this trip In Your Neighborhood.
“We are standing in The Garage, which was home to the [delivery] trucks with the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant and later was sold to the school district,” said Nicole Ulrich, general manager of The Garage Food Hall.
“You will see there’s some yellow paint throughout and that’s where they would paint the trucks when it was with the school district.”
Now The Garage Food Hall is bringing history back to life as a community-focused food, retail and entertainment hub.
It’s home to more than a dozen independently owned local businesses.
“We’ve brought in retail, food and beverage services to create this environment that is super fun for families, young folks alike… it’s been a really great success so far,” she explained.
The facility is split into two sides: a north garage and a south garage, featuring plenty of seating, complimentary Wi-Fi and plenty to explore.
With so many options, there’s something for just about everyone.
Some of the highlights include burgers from Clancy’s, sweet treats at Lick Ice Cream, plus pizza from Abbiocco and one of the biggest hits in the hall: arepas from Azucar Morena.
“This is her first brick and mortar so the first opportunity to really operate,” Ulrich said of the popular Venezuelan food vendor. “And most people have never had an arepa, so they are really pushing the boundaries of their taste buds which we’re excited about and [people] love them.”
Some of their vendors started by making their mark as a food truck before setting up permanent locations at The Garage. One of which is J’s Lobster, who is renowned for their signature lobster rolls other New England seafood staples.
But they are also adding a new component as a fish market, offering fresh cuts of fish, shrimp and even a tank of live Maine lobsters for customers to choose from.
Another former food truck turned big hit at The Garage is Gauchos Fire Brazilian Street Food.
“Brazilian steak sandwich from Gaucho’s Fire has been a big hit,” Ulrich said.
You can get a grab-and-go healthy meal from Herculean Meal Prep or even get a haircut at Brick & Mortar.
Shopping for a gift with a side of sass? Look no further than longtime Mass Ave favorite—Pumkinfish— which relocated to The Garage.
With over 30,000 square feet, there is plenty of room to social distance while you and kick back, enjoy a cocktail from Brown County based Hard Truth Distilling Co. and enjoy the vibe.
“We have DJs on Thursday nights and Saturday mornings,” she added. “It’s a lot of fun on Saturday mornings trying to get the blood flowing and people are coming down, having cocktails and so it’s great.”
In the future, Ulrich says we can expect more vendors to move into The Garage, but for now the focus is on providing a safe environment in accordance with local health mandates.
“We didn’t build out the rest of the hall on purpose. Because we wanted to be able to socially distance…Then we are on the other side of this, we will certainly lease that space out,” she said.
In the meantime, their team is having custom flatbed Ford trucks specially fabricated for future pop-ups in the hall.
But when you ask Ulrich about what we can expect when we return to “normalcy” post-pandemic, her eyes light up with excitement as she share’s their vision for The Garage — in its full glory.
“We have patio seating that is on the perimeter…You will see the garage doors open [to the outside]. And we will be able to put in double the amount of people,” she said. “We have a director of entertainment that is working hard on the other side of COVID, [on] how are we going to activate the space and how are we going to be involved in the city… This will be the place to be.”
Four Things You Need to Know About The Garage Food Hall:
- The Garage Food Hall opened this past January at 906 Carrollton Avenue in a 30,000+ square foot space comprised of two garages once used for delivery trucks at the old Coca-Cola bottling plant. Now, it’s a community-focused marketplace offering over a dozen food vendors, retail shops and entertainment.
- With so many different vendors (many of whom are locally-based), there’s something for everyone. Some of the most popular food vendors include J’s Lobster, Gaucho’s Fire Brazilian Street Food, Azucar Morena, Lick Ice Cream and Hard Truth Distilling Co. They also offer retail and services like Becker Supply Co., Pumkinfish and a barber shop called Brick & Mortar.
- In the next few weeks and months, you can expect even more vendors to open, like Axle’s Garage Tap, Chapati Beta, Certain Feelings Coffee Co. and a British fish and chips restaurant called The Harbour.
- When the weather heats up, they’ll be able to throw open the garage doors and turn the space into sort of an open-air vibe with patio seating, events, entertainment and even some pop-ups in the future.
For more information about The Garage, check out their website by clicking here. To see more photos and reviews by local Yelpers, check out their Yelp profile. You can also connect with them on social media via Facebook and Instagram.
While on Mass Ave, check out these other local hot spots located a short walk from The Garage Food Hall: