Street Savvy: Mass Ave
On downtown’s best street, the action shifts to the west end.
Kimbal Musk’s mission-driven eatery, Hedge Row American Bistro, has introduced “shrimp hush puppies” into our everyday lexicon. All food is prepared in a wood-fired oven under the supervision of chef Brad Gates, and psst—there’s parking behind the restaurant on evenings and weekends. 350 Massachusetts Ave., 317-643-2750
Blumlux boutique specializes in one-on-one appointments for engagement rings made with ethically sourced, lab-grown diamonds, designed by owner Nick Blum. His Vena Collection rings have two rubies inside the band, representing Egyptian lore that a blood vessel ran directly from the ring finger to the heart. 350 Massachusetts Ave.
The number of coworking spaces nationally has increased upward of 20 percent each year since 2005. Industrious Indianapolis is part of the trend. The second and third floors of the brand-new Marietta building are occupied by 63 private offices, group work-spaces called huddle rooms, and a room just for working mothers. Monthly rent starts at $425. 350 Massachusetts Ave., 317-734-0360
You won’t find greasy brunch grub on the menu at The Garden Table—think more along the lines of freshly pressed and locally sourced. The restaurant boasts a trendy Millennial ambience (it offers a full list of Beyoncé-inspired cocktails and serves green juices). With its shiplap walls and springy decor, this vegan-friendly joint is also the perfect backdrop for a foodie Instagram post of an acai bowl. 342 Massachusetts Ave., 317-638-0321
You see plenty of watering holes on this block of Mass Ave, but one of the best is tucked out of view: the alley patio at Bakersfield, strung with white lights overhead. Sit at a picnic table for margaritas and Baja shrimp tacos. This being downtown, even the Day of the Dead skeletons in the wall murals are riding bikes. 334 Massachusetts Ave., 317-635-6962
With family ownership for five generations and counting, Stout’s Footwear holds the title of oldest shoe store in the United States. But the inventory isn’t dated—shelves are stocked with trendy Birkenstocks, Chacos, and other summer styles. 318 Massachusetts Ave., 317-632-7818
Intentionally tacky decor makes the new Burnside Inn, named after the Hoosier patron saint of sideburns, all the more endearing—just the kind of young, stumble-in, stumble-out bar Mass Ave had been missing. Downstairs, a dedicated Mule list headlines the cocktails. The upstairs rooms host karaoke and open-mic nights. 314 Massachusetts Ave., 317-991-4150
The tight lunch-and-dinner menu, mainly consisting of fried chicken, packs a big Southern punch at The Eagle. Order your own serving of the comfort food with a kick, or have a crew tag along and share the Eagle Family Meal. Either way, don’t regret a thing, even if it was deep-fried. 310 Massachusetts Ave., 317-929-1799
A 38-foot-tall likeness of Indy’s most famous author, titled My Affair with Kurt Vonnegut, was created as one of 46 murals that beautified Indy before Super Bowl XLVI. Local artist Pamela Bliss first read Cat’s Cradle and Slaughterhouse-Five to depict him as accurately as possible. 345 Massachusetts Ave., 317-696-7349
The main offering at Louie’s Wine Dive covers all of the important wine-producing regions on the globe. The happy-hour menu—which runs all day on Mondays—is one of the best downtown, with tacos, squeaky cheese, flatbread, beignets, and more. Sit on the sidewalk patio and count how many times the HandleBar cruises past. 345 Massachusetts Ave., 317-929-1644
The Scottish-American MacNiven’s Restaurant & Bar is Edin-burrowed among other hip spots on Mass Ave, but it’s the only one that serves lamb liver as a dinner delicacy and has bar stools in street-facing windows that open completely, like garage doors. For craft beer, this is the best spot on the block. 339 Massachusetts Ave., 317-632-7268
Gooey, cheesy, award-winning garlic bread to start. Then wood-oven-baked pizza with creative toppings like avocado or salsa. Bazbeaux Pizza has withstood the Neapolitan trend admirably to remain an original Mass Ave favorite. Whoever names the four cheeses on the Quattro gets the last slice. 345 Massachusetts Ave., 317-929-1644
The Ball & Biscuit specializes in mixed drinks and a sultry, dimly lit atmosphere that mutes the hustle and bustle of downtown. This bar serves as Indy’s slice of Manhattan with its romantic-industrial decor and truly upscale drinks. 331 Massachusetts Ave., 317-636-0539