The Feed: 100 Years Of Workingman’s Friend

Here’s what’s cooking in Indy this week.
Workingman’s Friend (234 N. Belmont Ave., 317-636-2027), the downtown restaurant famous for its smashed and crispy-around-the-edges hamburgers, turned 100 years old last week. The Indianapolis Star’s Will Higgins took an in-depth look at the history of the crowd favorite, which was founded in 1918 by Macedonian immigrant Louis Stamatkin to feed local railroad workers. A century later, the restaurant is still in the family, owned and operated by Becky Stamatkin, granddaughter of Louis.

Greiner’s, the busy Garfield Park shop that’s been serving sub sandwiches since 1969, opens its second location this week. Northsiders can get their Greiner’s fix in Nora (1738 E. 86th St.), right across the street from North Central High School. Owner Lisa Moyer has added a breakfast menu and craft coffee service in the new location, plus a beer and wine menu. The grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony is February 2.


It’s time to make your plans for two of the biggest food parties of the summer. Tickets for May 5’s Rev Indy, the annual event teaming local chefs with Indy 500 drivers at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, are available now ($300 per person). Proceeds benefit the trauma and critical-care programs in the IU Health system. And tickets for the 32nd annual Zoobilation, scheduled for June 8 on the grounds of the Indianapolis Zoo, go on sale February 1 ($275 members; $300 non-members). Proceeds fund global conservation efforts and care of the animals at the zoo.

Goose the Market (2503 N. Delaware, 317-924-4944) is launching monthly charcuterie classes, focusing on a different country each month. Goose meatmonger Kevin Fruth kicks things off on February 22 with a guided tour of all things charcuterie in Italy, with tastings of cured meats, cheeses, baguettes, beer, and wine. The $65 ticket also includes a bottle of wine and charcuterie to take home. Other countries on the class schedule are France and Spain.


Tinker Coffee and Open Society Public House are partnering for a coffee- and wine-tasting event on March 3. One $30 ticket gets you tastings of three coffees (two exclusive to Open Society), three wines (red, white, and sparkling), and appetizers and baked goods from the Open Society culinary team. Tinker Coffee co-founder Steve Hall and Open Society founder Brian Baker will be on hand to answer all of your coffee and wine questions.

Mesh (725 Massachusetts Ave., 317-955-9600) chef Travis Hitch is collaborating with NoExit Performance choreographer and director Lauren Curry on a four-course meal paired with a four-act performance on February 25 at the restaurant . Only 36 tickets are available ($100 per person) for the theater and dinner experience, inspired by the intimate connections forged over a meal.


Indie Coffee Roasters (220 E. Main St., 317-993-3443) is now open in Carmel. The independent coffee shop has a craft coffee bar with a cozy espresso-and-laptop vibe, and a roastery on site.


Sangiovese Ristorante (2727 E. 86th St., 317-757-5913) is launching Aperitivo, an Italian-style happy hour, on February 5. Every day from 4:30 to 6 p.m., customers can grab a seat at the bar for a cocktail from the aperitivo list (a pre-dinner drink to open the palate) and receive a free appetizer. All drinks on the aperitivo list are $11.

Indiana Grown announced the celebrity lineup for its Feb. 10–11 Fantastic Food Fest at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Cookbook author Sara Moulton, who served as the food editor on Good Morning America, and Casey Thompson, a Top Chef (season 3) runner-up and fan favorite, will offer demonstrations and sign autographs during the interactive food event.

In the not-so-good news department, last week brought two closings and one bankruptcy filing to the local food and beverage scene. Broken Beaker Distillery (643 Massachusetts Ave.) and Hoaglin To Go (448 Massachusetts Ave.) closed suddenly, and Tow Yard Brewing (501 S. Madison Ave.,317-384-1866) filed for bankruptcy. According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, the brewery’s bankruptcy filing was done in an attempt to delay eviction from its current location and continue operating, but the future of the business is unclear.