As St. Patty’s day came and went last week, we couldn’t help but think about Patty’s of the past at The Aristocrat Pub & Restaurant (5212 N. College Ave., 317-283-7388). Since last August's electrical fire that resulted in more than $1.5 million in damages, we have been watching the business's Facebook page for mention of a re-open date.
After all, the building doesn't look as if it has incurred much damage at all. The patio and exterior in front look the same. So we called the Aristocrat to get the details—and we couldn’t have been more wrong. They’re actually missing the entire building that once housed their kitchen, prep area, and offices. General manager Melissa Uhte says it took months just to remove the rich assortment of architectural artifacts and mahogany accents from the building, including a picture worth $14,000. “The heartbreaker was opening and pouring out a couple of hundred bottles of wine and seeing a 17-day-old upgraded tap system sent to the dumpster,” says Uhte.
The restaurant was able to recover 39 of the 41 stained glass pieces that originally came from Dutton’s House, a hotel owned by Mercers Brewery in Manchester, England. Local glass studio Fox Studios will be restoring and housing the pieces until it reopens.
Owner Rick Rising-Moore and his team will definitely be rising from the ashes when The Aristocrat reopens its doors this summer (possibly July or August). By way of Facebook, he has asked regulars to weigh in on what to include in the new layout. Rising-Moore is taking several of those ideas into consideration and is working with local designer Matty Bennett (Taste Cafe & Marketplace, Ball & Biscuit, and Sun King Brewery) to make them happen. The new plans include a rooftop garden, a slate roof for the outdoor patio, more convenient bathrooms, solar panels, a green HVAC system, exposed brick walls, and a working fireplace from the Victorian era in the center of the dining room.
Much of the space will have the same cozy and eclectic vibe. The comfy oversized booths are making a comeback. Most (if not all) of the long-time staff will return to serve up same solid pub grub. As far as the distinctive assortment of architectural salvage, Rising-Moore is on the case. He’s currently busy scouring local and International antique stores purchasing everything from salvaged turn-of-the-century solid wood doors for the bathrooms to rare collegiate flags from the 1930s.
If in the neighborhood, clip some fresh dill popping up in the garden down by the grapes. Since The Aristocrat can’t use if for the time being, they want someone to.