The belovedly funky but now slightly dated Shelbi Street Cafe has changed its name to the verbose End of the Line Public House (1105 Shelby St., 317-687-4857), promising a slice of Indianapolis history and the best selection of local craft beers. We popped in to see the changes over the weekend. But not all that much has changed here, save for a row of historical photos of such classic Indianapolis sights as the streetcars for the old Interurban system–which is where the restaurant gets its new name.
The same art deco-inspired booths and tables still dot the small dining room. Even the menu of fruit-topped salads, sandwiches, and nouveau pizzas, is largely the same, though the beer offerings are definitely improved, including samplers of just about every local microbrewery. One addition among appetizers is a basket of crisp, deeply brown pretzel sticks with soft, steamy middles. Be warned: they’re addictive. They come with two sauces, a cheese sauce made with Fountain Square stout and a tangy horseradish-dill sauce. Also new is a generous Texas brisket sandwich, which we paired up with roasted fingerling potato “fries.” Lamb ribs seemed too good to turn down, though they’re an appetizer, not a meal (they suggest doubling the order for dinner). They’re super tender though a little greasy, and an Asian-style sauce on the side doesn’t offer much to cut the richness. Asian slaw packs little flavor except the crunch of the cabbage. But a mac-and-cheese bake with tons of gooey cheese will have you scraping to the last cheesy end.