The Feed: Neal Brown, The Well Coffeehouse, and More

This week’s trends in Indy dining.

» Turns out chef Neal Brown isn’t ready to give up his dream of a restaurant on Virginia Avenue. According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, the owner of The Libertine Liquor Bar and two Pizzology locations intends to open Ukiyo, a Japanese restaurant and sushi bar, at 1301 Virginia Avenue inside the former home of Skip’s Market. The announcement comes 10 months after Brown scrapped plans to open Mexican-themed Juanita in Fletcher Place. Brown is shooting for a spring opening.

Chris Benedyk
Chris Benedyk of Love Handle

» Speaking of Neal Brown, he’s part of an all-star team of local Indy chefs preparing a five-course meal for the Turn Festival Feast on September 30 at the Paramount School of Excellence. Brown joins Chris Benedyk (Love Handle), Cindy Hawkins (Circle City Sweets), Eli Laidlaw (Plat 99), Regina Mehallick (R2GO), Carlos Salazar (Rook), and Alan Sternberg (Cerulean) for a farm-to-table dinner on the eve of the Turn Festival, a day-long celebration of urban sustainability.

» Indianapolis restaurants are accustomed to seeing their names in national food magazines these days, but Vogue joined the lovefest last week with a post on underappreciated flyover cities. We accept the underhanded compliment (on behalf of Kansas City and Oklahoma City as well) and will look for Anna Wintour with her impeccable bob and large sunglasses at some of the name-checked businesses: Bluebeard, Locally Grown Gardens, Milktooth, Tinker Street, Vida, and Wildwood Market.

» The Well Coffeehouse is up and running in Fishers. The already-hopping space is the third location for the Tennessee-based company, which directs all profits to clean-water initiatives and well-building in third world countries. In addition to the usual coffee suspects, you’ll find seasonal offerings of specialty drinks like an iced coffee–infused root beer with a dash of cream.

» The Corner Wine Bar in Broad Ripple kicks off a monthly wine series this week. Themes change every month (September is Napa on a Budget), but all tastings include seasonal appetizer pairings and wine education from guest speakers.