The Feed: Crispy Bird Closes

Here’s what’s cooking in Indy this week.

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Just 13 months after opening, Martha Hoover’s Crispy Bird (115 E. 49th St., 317-744-0000) is closing. The last day of service is January 12. Founding chef David Hoover has already moved out to the West Coast, where he is pursuing culinary opportunities in Los Angeles, and beverage manager Isaiah Estell is in eastern Europe exploring the wine scene. After the restaurant closes, the space will be used as temporary headquarters for Hoover’s nonprofit Patachou Foundation (until the permanent HQ is finished this summer), and an incubator kitchen for new restaurant concepts at Patachou Inc.

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USA Today deemed Crispy Bird’s chicken to be “pilgrimage worthy” and Eater named Crispy Bird one of the hottest restaurant openings in the country. But this project was designed to be short- lived — the foundational team that formed the DNA of Crispy Bird was committed to staying in Indianapolis for a year, and, as forewarned, they have moved on to culinary adventures around the world – literally, they have flown the coop. January 12th will be Crispy Bird's last day of service, open for brunch, lunch & dinner. The Patachou family would like to thank our amazing team and the community for helping us create a unique dining experience. Existing staff members have been offered continued opportunities and career pathways in the company. And, in case you are worried that your Crispy Bird cravings won’t be satisfied: the top menu items including bone broth, mac n’ cheese, fried Carolina rice, and the fried chicken itself are being worked into the menus at our 12 locations. It is time to transition the space into its intended use — a food and restaurant incubator space where Patachou can develop and test recipes, mock up concepts, host visiting chefs and advance culinary education. For the next five months, Crispy Bird will be used as the interim production kitchen and office space for the growing Patachou Foundation, whose permanent headquarters will not be completed until June of 2019. The Patachou Foundation is on track to feed approximately 45,000 scratch-made meals to hungry kids in 2019 — meaning that a dedicated work space is paramount. Public Greens Downtown will be opening by the end of January. And, there are more developments in the world of Patachou Inc. including evaluating location options for additional cafes, expanding internal benefit programs for staff, developing culinary education opportunities for both staff and customers, creating scholarships for our people wanting to enrich the Pata-verse with interesting ideas and knowledge. Patachou’s focus has been on creating a people, product and community-focused company that thrives on change. We look forward to many more years of thinking differently, innovating and creating bar-setting restaurants. MSH

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Is it something we said? Chef Regina Mehallick is also closing her specialty market, R2GO (1101 N. College Ave., 317-737-2543), on January 19. Mehallick made the announcement this week, citing long work hours and a desire to spend more time with her family. Mehallick, a four-time James Beard Award semi-finalist, opened the shop in December of 2014, just months before closing her popular Mass Ave restaurant, R Bistro. She was a pioneer of the local food scene, serving farm-to-table menus before it was a catchphrase. Mehallick will continue to host cooking classes in the space for the next few months.

Advertising agency MilesHerndon is opening a coffee shop in the lobby of its Fountain Square headquarters. Indianapolis Business Journal reports that former Bluebeard bartender Kevin Sanders will be the general manager of Gavel (902 Virginia Ave., 317-915-8693), operating in the 900-square-foot lobby of the agency. Expect coffee, beer, wine, cocktails, and small plates when it opens in February.

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This project that was once shrouded in secrecy is now starting to become very real. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Our general manager, @kevinrussellsanders just started, after a couple months of conversations and brainstorming and is finalizing the menu and planning our opening. This month, we’ll host a couple evenings for an invite only preview of the menu. . . . Meanwhile the folks at @milesherndon are in the back crafting ads and building brands. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We’re looking forward to inviting you in beyond the TBD decals. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀— ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #branding #adagency #marketing #coffeeshops #cocktails #comingsoon #fountainsquareindy #indianapolis #indy

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Fort Ben’s Porter Books & Bread is moving its coffee-roasting operation to a new space in Greenfield this spring. Marten Development posted an update on the building on Instagram. The Porter Books & Bread cafe will stay in Fort Ben, while the Greenfield Porter Coffee space will strictly be for roasting and expansion of the wholesale coffee business. Porter will share the new space in Greenfield with Butterchip Bakery, a new coffee and pastry shop.

Daredevil Hall (2721 E. 86th St., 463-221-2200), the new taproom and restaurant in the Ironworks Hotel, took to social media to announce a January opening and call for employees. Speedway-based Daredevil Beer will be in the taproom, and the restaurant menu will be overseen by executive chef Neal Brown of Ukiyo and Pizzology.
Tickets are on sale for Second Helpings’ annual Souper Bowls event on January 26 at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Center (1121 Southeastern Ave., 317-632-2664). A $10 ticket includes samples of soups from several local chefs, with attendees voting on a winner. Proceeds benefit food rescue and culinary training operations at Second Helpings.
Beekeeper Ross Harding of Hardwood Honey is teaming up with Bluebeard (653 Virginia Ave., 317-686-1580) for a Cheese & Bees event on January 20. Tickets are $40 and include four kinds of cheese, four types of honey, four alcoholic beverages, and a Bluebeard-branded cheese board.

The first (and only) Indianapolis location of Chicago-based Broken English Taco Pub (141 S. Meridian St.) is closed. The restaurant opened in November of 2017.

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