Finally, a reason to be grateful for Prohibition. Without that dark moment in history when alcohol was forbidden, we would not get to sip house-distilled cocktails at Repeal, the latest business to set up in Fletcher Place’s funky, white-stone Virginia Ave Bank building. The three-month-old watering hole pays homage to the era with cocktails made from the gin and vodka produced at its next-door distillery, 12.05 (named after the date Prohibition was repealed, December 5, 1933).
Even the menu replicates meals from the time period. “Almost every restaurant had turtle soup back then,” says Teresa Webster, who owns the business with her husband, Bill. “So we have a mock turtle soup.” (It’s made with beef broth instead of turtle meat.) Lunch and dinner accompaniments range from a peanut–green bean salad to dessert-like peas with almonds and white chocolate, complementing main courses like gin-marinated chicken and vegetable hash. Sunday brunch includes a Bloody Mary bar as well as omelets with rum sauce set on fire, banana grits, and crabcake eggs Benedict created by chef de cuisine Blake Ellis, who came to Repeal from Tinker Street. The restaurant sources Hoosier farms and distributors—like Becker Farms in Mooreland and Bell Aquaculture in Albany—for its meat, fish, and produce. And Herr Station in Lebanon supplies the malt and grains for 12.05, so even the hooch is local. 630 Virginia Ave., 317-672-7514
This article appeared in the October 2015 issue.