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Its name means “everyday” in Swedish, but there’s nothing plain-Jane about Vardagen, a rustic-cool boutique taking advantage of the bumper crop of Indiana-made T-shirts over the last few years. Hoosier-pride designs by People for Urban Progress and United State of Indiana complement Vardagan’s own label, best-known for a collection based on Christmas-sweater motifs. 8684 E. 116th St., 317-572-5570, shop.vardagen.com.
An eco-friendly secret, Herbal Art hums with the sounds of Beethoven and boasts yummy-smelling soaps, shampoos, and creams, all handcrafted by owner Brian Paffen, a certified Indiana Artisan. Find the place in an office building in front of Target and choose from chunks of shea butter–infused soaps for $6. Paffen aims to whip up gender-neutral scents—like his newest creation, Beer, infused with barley and hops. 11650 N. Lantern Rd., Ste. 205, 317-418-8227, herbalartonline.com.
The who’s who of Fishers—and on occasion, familiar faces from the local news—gather at the Nickel Plate Bar & Grill for pork tenderloin sandwiches and breaded mushrooms. Though the institution turned 20 this year, the building has stood since the 1800s. 8654 E. 116th St., 317-841-2888, nickelplatebarandgrill.com.
>> IN THE KNOW: Jennifer KehlExecutive director of the Fishers Freedom Festival and the police chief’s wife
What’s the last thing you bought in Fishers? I took my son for a haircut at the Fishers Barber Shop. I know the owner, Kurt. We grew up together in Carmel, and it had an old-time barber shop. When Kurt moved here, he started the same thing.Any Carmel envy? No. It was nice when it was all cornfields.The squad car must come in handy when I-69 is backed up. When you compare communities the size of Fishers, our traffic congestion isn’t that bad.
If its standard menu of 100-plus flavors isn’t enough, each location of the GiGi’s Cupcakes chain creates its own recipes, too. On Indianapolis Indians game days, you can order a Rowdie Berry cupcake, created by the team’s mascot. 8981 E. 116th St., 317-577-2253, gigiscupcakesusa.com.
Inspired by Europe’s bean-and-brew fusions, Hearthstone Coffee House and Pub offers freshly roasted joe alongside a roster of regional craft beers on tap. Its own Hearthstone Bavarian Brown is a chocolate coffee jazzed up with Mr. People’s Brown Ale. Tasting dinners focus on both espresso and suds. 8235 E. 116th St., 317-436-7049, hearthstonecoffee.com.
A festival on October 13 will celebrate the new Nickel Plate District and outdoor amphitheater. While they’re in the area, entrepreneurs will want to peek inside Launch: Fishers, a recently opened members-only space where those with a start-up business are encouraged to gather and collaborate. 6 Municipal Dr.
Photo of Vardagen by Patrick Kolts; photos of Nickel Plate and Gigi's by Tony Valainis
This article appeared in the October 2012 issue.
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