Butler-Tarkington Newcomer Chalet Heats Up

exterior of a fire station turned coffee and wine bar
Chalet is located across the street from Illinois St. Food Emporium.

After Indy’s
Fire Station 16 closed in 2016 to merge with the Broad Ripple facility, the handsome brick building stood vacant for several years. Now, the beloved Butler-Tarkington landmark is transforming to serve the local community in a whole new way.

Aiming for an early February opening date, Chalet joins the Small Victories Hospitality portfolio that also includes Provider, Landlocked Baking Company, Coat Check Coffee, Heartbreaker, and Strange Bird, upping the operation’s cafe cred with the addition of wine and small plates. The site will function as a coffee shop during daytime hours, transitioning to wine bar service in the evenings, a change from the parent company’s original craft-brewing plans. “We will feature about four different beers on tap and likely have some spritzes on the menu as well,” says Jes Nijjer, director of marketing and communications for Small Victories.

Food-wise, guests can order from a vetted selection of Alpine-inspired small plates and snacks to accompany coffee and wine, in keeping with what will be cozy 1970s ski lodge-style digs that encourage guests to kick back and linger awhile. Community loyalists will be happy to hear that vestiges of the former property have been saved to honor its firehouse history and heritage. “The space preserves many of the original details like some of the original brick, the doors, the entry way and the fireplace,” Nijjer says. “The Butler-Tarkington neighborhood feels like the perfect location to share natural wines and pairings with folks.” 5555 N. Illinois St.