Street Savvy: Kirklin

A once-sleepy town on Old Michigan Road reinvents itself as a destination for antiquers—and pizza lovers.
Kirklin Street Savvy


Bestsellers at the refurbished brick-walled tavern Bookers Bar and Grill (1) include pulled pork, fried Wisconsin cheese curds, and “mug drinks,” such as the fruity Bookers Punch. 109 N. Main St., 765-279-5133


One of 10 antiques purveyors in town, The Tin Rooster (2) is well-stocked with colorful primitives, collectibles, and old-meets-new garden art. 105 N. Main St., 765-242-7823


Among the many vintage finds at Ten Thousand Treasures (3), a browser’s paradise run by four sisters from Carmel, is one of the area’s largest collections of antique toys, including beloved brands Buddy L, Structo, Hubbley, and Tonka. 101 N. Main St., 317-902-0244,


Whether you like your sugar cream pie enriched with butter or whipping cream, you’ll find one style or the other, depending on the day, at Momma Jeannie’s (4). The bakery also offers peanut butter fudge, gooey cinnamon rolls baked fresh daily, and brownies. 101 N. Main St., 765-438-9685


Bohemian Umgee dresses share racks with thrifted separates at MiMi’s Place (5), tucked on a side street. 102 E. Madison St., 765-461-7862


A former Masonic Lodge provides a sprawling backdrop for nearly a dozen dealers at K & G Time Traveler’s Antique Mall (6), one of Kirklin’s largest and most varied vintage shops. Repurposed wood fixtures from Frankfort’s Timeless Barn Company are just some of the pieces available. 108 E. Madison St., 317-697-8604


Lifelong woodworking hobbyists and veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, Mike Bray and Jeremy Fendley now earn their ranks creating custom harvest tables, benches, and cabinets at M & J Hand Made Woodworks (7). While the bulk of their business comes from military contracts (including the cash-register stand for the officers’ club at West Point), they also handle projects for civilians. 102 S. Main St., 765-894-5937,


Kirklin developers Chip and Dan Mann create the graphic novel Forgotten City and display covers and concept drawings in a museum, called Kid Domino, that’s open for prearranged group tours. The collection includes the work of well-known comic book illustrators, such as DC and Marvel Comics artist Pat Broderick, Disney animator Richard Harrison Green, and one of the industry’s most famous pioneers, Frank Frazetta. 102 S. Main St.,


You’ll feel like a kid again browsing all the old-school candy and soda directly inside the front door of White River Mercantile (8), which got its start in Noblesville before moving to these spacious digs. But this eclectic store also layers in hard-to-find primitive furniture and tabletop items, as well as hand creams and body lotions. 101 S. Main St., 765-432-2381


The gourmet surprise of downtown Kirklin, Frankfort native Alex McClelland’s funky Empire Pizzeria (9) delivers artisan pies that show off the culinary school and restaurant skills he picked up on the West Coast. McClelland sources meats from Saint Adrian’s in Lebanon, makes creamy mozzarella, nails a crust with just the right chew, and puts together an excellent list of craft beers. 106 S. Main St., 765-279-8220,


If Stranger Things were set in Kirklin, the gang would spend their allowances on milkshakes and classic arcade games (Centipede, Galaga, Pac-Man, and more) at Sweet Brynlee’s Ice Cream Shoppe (10). 110 S. Main St., 765-279-5379


You might want to put on your poodle skirt before pushing open the door to 3 Stray Cats (11), which offers one of the best selections we’ve seen of chrome and Formica dinettes, radios, TVs, and funky kitchen items. 111 S. Main St., 765-426-0794,


Pioneers on Kirklin’s scene, Jeff Bailey and Craig Unroe have been running White Lion Antiques (12) for more than 20 years, honing their collection of fine art, gas and oil signs, and early Americana. Find deals in the packed back rooms. 113 S. Main St., 765-279-5777,