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Coming Soon: The Thunderbird

When Joshua Gonzales floated the idea of opening his own cocktail spot to friends at last year’s Dig IN, he didn’t know where it would end up or what the final concept would be. He just knew he wanted to build on his bartending experience—sparked at an Olive Garden in Albuquerque in his native New Mexico and refined at Pizzology, Libertine Liquor Bar, and then The Ball & Biscuit. But when he brought in developer Jon Altman, and the old Thunderbird Night Club location became available, he immediately wanted to do an homage to one of Fountain Square’s legendary dives. “We didn’t even know it had been a bar until we started uncovering the old Thunderbird sign,” Gonzales says. Straightforward cocktails (some by the pitcher) will stick to a moderate price point. And food with a Southern flair will include funky bar bites such as tasso-ham hush puppies and duck-heart biscuits and gravy.

1127 Shelby St.

Photo by Tony Valainis

This article appeared in the December 2013 issue.

A graduate of IU’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing, Terry Kirts hails from a town in Illinois so small it didn’t have a restaurant until he was in the 8th grade. Since 2000, he’s more than made up for the dearth of eateries in his childhood, logging hundreds of meals as the dining critic for WHERE Indianapolis, Indianapolis Woman, and NUVO before joining Indianapolis Monthly as a contributing editor in 2007. A senior lecturer in creative writing at IUPUI, Terry has published his poetry and creative nonfiction in a number of literary journals and anthologies, including Gastronomica, Alimentum, and Home Again: Essays and Memoirs from Indiana, and he’s the author of the poetry collection To the Refrigerator Gods, published by Seven Kitchens Press in 2011.